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Public Broadcasters Argue on Dish Use

Discussion in 'General Satellite Discussion' started by Steve Mehs, May 10, 2002.

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  1. Steve Mehs

    Steve Mehs Hall Of Fame

    Mar 21, 2002
    Public broadcasters approached the Federal Communications Commission this week complaining about a decision from the agency's Media Bureau concerning EchoStar's use of a second dish for reception of certain local TV stations.

    The Association of Public Television Stations (APTS) and PBS, in an application for review of the Media Bureau order filed Monday, said the bureau correctly found that EchoStar’s use of a second dish violates the Satellite Home Viewer Improvement Act (SHVIA) and commission rules. However, they complained in the filing that the bureau’s remedy for the second-dish use is inconsistent with SHVIA and FCC rules.

    Specifically, APTS and PBS said the option to allow EchoStar to better publicize its second-dish use and wing satellite carriage for certain locals "is not sufficient to address the discriminatory treatment of the local broadcasters carried on wing satellites." Wing satellites refer to the spacecraft EchoStar is using to deliver a select slate of local TV channels to a second dish.

    PBS stations are available via a single dish in all local TV packages EchoStar offers in the 36 cities it serves. Some PBS stations in some of the markets served are delivered via the second dish solution, which is offered free to subscribers.

    APTS and PBS said the FCC should modify the bureau decision to require EchoStar to carry all local stations on its primary satellites. In addition, they said, "the commission should make it clear that the only way a two-dish strategy can be non-discriminatory is to require immediate and automatic installation of a free second dish as well as non-discriminatory treatment with regard to channel position, electronic program guide placement and picture quality."

    Last month, the Media Bureau found that EchoStar's use of a second dish to deliver a select slate of local channels violated commission rules and the law. However, some complained that the bureau ruling was insufficient in addressing the second-dish issue and local station concerns.

    From SkyReport (Used with Permission)
  2. Nick

    Nick Retired, part-time PITA DBSTalk Club

    Apr 23, 2002
    Give me a break!

    That is pure buffalo biscuits. These whiney PBSers just want to max out coverage of their endless, monotinous and ubiquitous fundraisers.

    I think Charlie's interim carraige solution is reasonable under the circumstances. Apparently the FCC does too.

    Nickster :smoking:
  3. Mark Holtz

    Mark Holtz Day Sleeper DBSTalk Club

    Mar 23, 2002
    Sacramento, CA
    Some of these broadcasters are just acting like spoiled brats. Both D* and E* ordered their birds with lead times before the SHIVA, but the actual delays exceed the expected delays. September 11th and Charlie's insurance disputes didn't help matters. D* almost missed their deadline. Echostar came up with a interim solution at their expense to at least provide a temporary solution.
  4. BrettR

    BrettR Legend

    Apr 24, 2002
    I get lifeline cable. The same local stations from Philly DMA, Dish carries, my Comcast carries, so I didnt see the benefit of upgrading to a larger dish. Granted everyone doesnt have lifeline cable though and lineups are different in every county pretty much.

    Now if Dish offered WMGM 40(NBC)/Atlantic City, WLVT 39(PBS)/Allentown, WFPA-28 LP (Telefutura)/Philly and some other stations from my market that I cant get on cable, then I'd think about it. Anyways I'm with DirecTV now,get WLVT 39 from Allentown which Comcast here doesnt carry. I'm about 15 miles from Philly, 50-55 miles South East of Allentown and Reading, 50-55 miles north west of Atlantic City/Cape may. So my Cable system is pretty much in the center of the market. Comcast here carries the same locals DirecTV has, except Comcast carries WPPX 61(Pax), but DirecTV has WLVT 39(PBS).

    I know WLVT 39 (PBS) isnt bothering getting Dish carriage even though they are on DirecTV. They know about this big dish, and arent interested and would rather save the money since they have to run fiber otherwise. Its already a costly expensive for them. WMGM 40 (NBC) and WBPH 60 (Religious) want carriage, its not a retransmission dispute, its just they cant afford it running a line. WBPH 60 wants carriage badly in Philadelphia (cable and DirecTV) as they right now are only limited to Allentown. WBPH 60 and WLVT 39 use WFMZ's tower. I like how in Allentown all three broadcasters use the same tower, owned by WFMZ. I wish the same was true in South Jersey, that all the full power stations transmitted from Waterford Works, NJ. I know WUVP 65 wants pretty much to be in Philly and their digital station will broadcast from Roxborough with the other Philly stations. Same with WPPX 61, Pax.

    I get a superb analog PQ of the Philly station from Roxborough via my antenna that I have too. Comcast, DirecTV or Dish cant match that PQ. Except maybe HD.
  5. DamonM

    DamonM Cool Member

    May 6, 2002
    I think these broadcasters just want to suck up as much space as possible on the conus slots so they can take up the space that might otherwise be taken up by competitors and new channels. After all, what better way to make sure you have fewer competitors than to take up all the available space?

    The whole thing makes me sick. It reminds me of that presidential race in which Ross Perot wanted a phone book to sit on so he could look taller, and then all the other candidates started whining like babies, saying they wanted phone books to sit on, too.

  6. andgarden

    andgarden New Member

    Apr 23, 2002
    I think you all are missing the point. Echostar is breaking the law by discriminating against the stations on the side sats. Whether or not you personally like the stations on the side sats is irrelevant. Echostar is defying the must carry laws IT pushed for by not giving a free install of a second dish to everyone who subscribes to their local stations.

  7. scooper

    scooper Hall Of Fame

    Apr 22, 2002
    Youngsville NC
    andgarden - how wrong you are !!!!!
    And besides, the FCC (the enforcing agency) didn't say that. They DID say that E* needed to be more vigorous in getting the word out - and so far as I can tell, they are doing just that.
  8. bryan27

    bryan27 DBSTalk E* Spot Beam Guru

    Apr 1, 2002
    I think some of these PBS stations have a valid case. Some PBS stations were put on a CONUS slot while others were put on the side sats. If the ones that are on a CONUS slot now were on the side sats and those currently on the side sats were on a CONUS slot the other PBS stations would complain too.

    A few of the PBS stations are on the side sats with out any logical reason. For instance WTVI Charlotte is at 61.5, but on 119 if you are in Charlotte you don't get your local PBS you get WUNC (in lew of WUNG Concord 30 miles from Charlotte). WPBA Atlanta is on 61.5 whereas WGTV Athens is on 119. The Atlanta PBS station gets shoved on 61.5 and a PBS station licensed 50 miles away gets on 119. In Greenville/Asheville WUNC (which has a station in Asheville) gets on 119, but those in the market have to get a second dish to get SCETV (which has a station in Greenville).
  9. Mark Holtz

    Mark Holtz Day Sleeper DBSTalk Club

    Mar 23, 2002
    Sacramento, CA
    And summarize it in a 30 day report which was filed on May 6, 2002 that includes:
    * A letter to all existing Local-into-Local subscribers (complete with Exhibits for both Denver and Philadelphia)
    * CSR Training, including updated scripts
    * Updated advertising materials (yes, we have an exhibit)
    * Training of installers and retailers
    * Website update (with Exhibit)
    * FYI spot which will run 1,500 times per week on a total of 77 networks (Oh, we have an exhibit in a form of FYI script)
    * Reprogramming of receivers to provide ample notification-They are starting with the 301s & 501s, then working down in number of popular receivers

    And, oh yeah, file a petition for reconsideration of the FCC's ruling on April 4th.

    I received this report last Friday, but opened it tonight.
  10. BrettR

    BrettR Legend

    Apr 24, 2002
    Its true with cable also. Broadcasters take up quite a lot of space on cable too. In Central NJ Mercer Co. (philly DMA), the cable system RCN had to reserve 24 channels for NY and Philly stations because of significantly viewed. I know RCN wants to sell its Princeton cable system, and RCN is based in Princeton! Each analog channel could equal up to 10-15 digital channels, channels that could be "basic" programming channels, PPV, premiums, VOD, space the MSO could make money from.

    Comcast in Ocean County (NY) DMA but Southern NJ has to reserve alot of space for NY & Philly. The Philly stations have delusion that Ocean County is in their market, and will give thunderstorm/flood warnings for Ocean County, while the NY stations are too busy with NYC/Long Island news to bother. There is sports coverage thats different along with news, but it doesnt make sense why 2 NBC, 2 ABC, 2 FOX are being carried, yet at same time its "illegal" for a customer in Toms River or any part of that county to purchase Philly locals via DBS even though Comcast carries 3,6,10,12,17,29,57, CN8, CCSN already from Philly DMA.

    IMO, DBS was stuck. They wanted to carry ABC, NBC, CBS, FOX from the big markets to compete with digital cable, but were stuck with mustcarry which means carry every PBS, every NCE in the market in most cases. Some of these stations are good, some are useless and are only in existence because laws protect them. IMO, mustcarry should be carrying any news/weather fulltime channels with maybe some community affairs programiing but no local home shopping or religious channels. In the end its just a power struggle for money. DBS providers, big network stations, affiliates, independents, religious, PBS, they all want their share of money and will do anything to preserve their interests.
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