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OpEd by Directv and Time Warner CEOs - 20 year old FCC Rules

Discussion in 'DIRECTV General Discussion' started by Satelliteracer, Apr 24, 2012.

  1. Satelliteracer

    Satelliteracer Hall Of Fame

    Dec 6, 2006
    Some of you might be interested in this. Discusses the costs of broadcasting and how they have gone up 7 fold due to antiquated rules dating back to 1992.

  2. Alan Gordon

    Alan Gordon Chancellor

    Jun 7, 2004
    Dawson, Georgia
    COOL!! When I c/p a portion of the editorial, it added that about reading more. THAT'S AWESOME!! :eek2: Sorry... I've just never experienced that before... :grin:

    Doesn't the above kind of hurt the argument?! If viewers can still get the content, why does it matter if broadcasters pull the signal temporarily...

  3. SamC

    SamC Hall Of Fame

    Jan 20, 2003
    Fortnightly was rightly decided. This is a case of Congress interfering in an area where there was no problem. Local TV should be free, and any broadcaster who cannot make it on commercial sales alone is free to turn the liscense over to me.
  4. APB101

    APB101 Icon

    Sep 1, 2010

    Thank you for this!

    And thank you what info you're able to provide. (Generally.) :)
  5. adkinsjm

    adkinsjm Icon

    Mar 25, 2003
    People are free to put up an antenna if they want to see local stations. It's funny cable and satellite companies screech about the is of carrying OTA, but it's a small percentage of the programming bill for channels that are popular.
  6. Surveyor40

    Surveyor40 DBSTalk Club Member

    Jan 5, 2006
    Yep, satelliteracer thank you. Strange the article did not mention the impact to losing viewers in the short term whom had no alternative to watch blacked out channels. Since ratings are based on viewers watching TV to set commercial revenues the TV station owners receive. Using blackouts as a leverage would seem to be a double edge sword. A broadcaster would impact their immediate revenue stream by directly reducing the number of viewers whom watch that station. And if the blackout does go on for any long duration, finicky viewers will look elsewhere for the programming that is missed. It is not just the 1992 rules which are antiquated but the manner stations view their viewers as well. A broadcast license is not the golden ticket (to print money) it once was. I read last week that people younger than 25 do not watch TV conventionally. They use the internet to download the programs they want to watch, or view them at a networks sight. What does that imply for the station owners just 10 or 15 years from now as the actual TV viewing audience migrates to other viewing choices.
  7. bidger

    bidger Hall Of Fame

    Nov 19, 2005
    That blanket statement doesn't work everywhere in the U.S.
  8. MysteryMan

    MysteryMan Well-Known Member DBSTalk Club

    May 17, 2010
    As I have stated before Congress is the opposite of progress.
  9. n3vino

    n3vino Godfather

    Oct 2, 2011
    A lot of the problem are the satellite and cable subscribers. If D* or TWC call their bluff, subscribers will begin to jump ship to say, E*. Then the next time, they'll go after E*, and they'll jump that ship and go back to D* or TWC.

    So we have no one to blame but ourselves. This happened with the NFL Network and TWC. I know a lot of people that went from TWC to D* because TWC did not agree to pay NFL a ridiculous premium.

    When I dropped TW and went to D*, it had nothing to do with the NFL Network. IN fact I have yet to watch anything on it since I subscribed in OCtober 2011. It had to do with needing some relief from TW's high cost, if only for a year.

    I'm glad I did now because I like the Whole home DVR and better HD PQ. I also like HDNet, but that had nothing to do with me dropping D*. I did lose some basic HD channels too.

    However, when my contract is up, I am seriously going to consider going over the air. My city has a lot of local channels. I hate paying up the gazoo for a bunch of Bull Corn channels that I never watch.
  10. RasputinAXP

    RasputinAXP Kwisatz Haderach of Cordcuttery

    Jan 23, 2008
    Doesn't work in Philly. At least not if you want to get WPVI.
  11. harsh

    harsh Beware the Attack Basset

    Jun 14, 2003
    Salem, OR
    I think many are getting tired of various entities trying to use the government (not to be confused with the judiciary) to give them some sort of leverage in advancing their cause. This article is as much a show of fear of network-sponsored IPTV as it is a plea for government granted "fairness".

    Television is not a unalienable right. As such, we need to encourage the government to stay out of the business as the CEOs have suggested, but they can't be contemplating how they're going to use the government to make them competitive against the up-and-coming technologies.

    By the same token, I can see the broadcasters (NAB) pissing and moaning about competition from their own networks and demanding some manner of help in grabbing revenues from eyeballs lost to the Internet feeds and on-demand.
  12. HarleyD

    HarleyD Hall Of Fame

    Aug 31, 2006
    So there is a cogent point about the rules being outdated but there is also what I see as a serious omission.

    What are the rules?

    We know what they govern but what are the guidelines, requirements and restrictions and how are they unfairly tilted to the broadcasters?

    I'm not saying that they aren't outdated or unfair. I can't. I don't know what they are.

    That would have been kind of a neat thing to include in the argument.
  13. Ira Lacher

    Ira Lacher Icon

    Apr 24, 2002
    The legal issues are:

    1. Does the nature of a given program -- that is, a program which is free and readily available when it is transmitted over the air -- change when the program is delivered by alternate means such as cable?
    2. And given that a program is free when it is transmitted over the air, does its nature change if it is transmitted over the air directly to a viewer's receiver, as opposed to if it is transmitted over the air to a satellite uplink, over the air to a satellite and over the air to a viewer's receiver?
  14. BattleScott

    BattleScott Hall Of Fame

    Aug 28, 2006
    It's an Op-ed piece promoting only one side of the fight. What I object to most is the attempt to diguise it as some sort of "looking out for the viewer" crap. They own the signals and the content, so if you aren't willing to pay their price, then why should you be allowed to retransmit it, the argument is total crap and anti-capitalist. DirecTV raised my bill by $8 this year, with no negotiations. Should this be changed since the concept of "take it or leave it" is so outdated? Should they be forced to continue providing me the same service as before until we can negotiate a new agreement?

    This is a one-sided piece of propaganda designed to drum up support for the effort to force the owners into allowing retransmission during carriage disputes. Why? to keep subscriber prices down? To make sure we don't miss our favorite shoes? Hell no, it's to give the carriers more leverage when it comes time to negotiate. If they can still transmit after expiration, then they can negotitate harder to get a better price AND not face the threat of loosing customers to other providers because of the black-outs.
  15. sigma1914

    sigma1914 Well-Known Member DBSTalk Club

    Sep 5, 2006
    Allen, TX
    +1 to BattleScott
  16. Alan Gordon

    Alan Gordon Chancellor

    Jun 7, 2004
    Dawson, Georgia
    Most Op-ed pieces are... :rolleyes:

    If this were national Cable channels, I might agree with you. However, since this appears to be targeting mainly local broadcast channels, I don't.... at least for satellite anyway.

    Unlike cablecos, satcos have to spend a considerably large amount of money in order to provide locals to as many DMAs as they do. I mean, seriously, think of how much money they have to spend in order to provide LiL to us... yet DirecTV only charges $3.00 for locals. That $3.00 might seem like a lot of money to station owners wanting to recoup lost revenue, but it's not!

    In a big DMA like NY or L.A., you have more subscribers paying that $3.00 which might help you recoup some of the equipment costs, but you might have a large number of stations available, requiring more encoders, uplink costs, transponder space used, etc.

    In a smaller DMA, like mine (Albany, GA), you have less subscribers paying that $3.00 which means it would take a considerably longer amount of time to recoup that amount... if it would ever happen. Take into consideration too that DirecTV doesn't offer the big four in HD here (missing ABC in HD)... most likely due to lack of transponder space.

    You might say, "DirecTV is using locals as a loss-leader in order to get people to subscribe." I think you'd be totally correct... but I personally don't believe it's fair of broadcasters to tell the satcos who are taking a service which everyone can get for FREE and provide it to them more conveniently at a loss and say "we want more money!" :nono:

  17. Barcthespark

    Barcthespark Godfather

    Dec 16, 2007
    +1 D* and TWC make it sound like they are the only ones allowed to make a profit. Locals have just as much of a right to make money as carriers do.
  18. harsh

    harsh Beware the Attack Basset

    Jun 14, 2003
    Salem, OR
    The devil's advocate in me says that this is precisely their justification for the price increase(s). Others might say that it was so they could subsidize NFLST's price "decrease".

    I think we mostly accept as fact that Disney and the locals are deep drilling for profits. The nagging question is whether or not DIRECTV is passing it straight on or squirreling away for the future.
  19. harsh

    harsh Beware the Attack Basset

    Jun 14, 2003
    Salem, OR
    There is indeed something terribly wrong when the broadcasters have the power to take their marbles and go home. At some point they need to realize that if the advertisers discover that they've lost a good portion of the market, those revenues will drop too.

    You can bet the sports leagues and pageants/awards shows aren't going to look favorably upon networks that have gaping holes in their market because they're flailing to restructure their profit model.
  20. BattleScott

    BattleScott Hall Of Fame

    Aug 28, 2006
    So because DirecTV has a higher cost in retransmitting than a cableco does, the locals / broadcasters should take less from them for their product than they do from a cable co?

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