seeking help understanding channel access issues

Discussion in 'General DISH™ Discussion' started by md1970, Jan 7, 2021.

  1. Jan 7, 2021 #1 of 12
    md1970

    md1970 New Member

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    I'm a DISH customer, and I'm trying to understand the reality of current/future channel access. I'm a long-time customer (more than 15 years), and while I used to be mostly satisfied with DISH, that's not the case now. I'm trying to understand how much that is DISH versus the reality of modern TV, and what my options are.

    I have historically been mostly satisfied with DISH. The price has been reasonable, the equipment rarely malfunctioned, service only went out in very heavy rain, and until recently there was only occasional loss of channels.

    That last one has changed. Currently I don't have NBC or FOX, now for probably 2 weeks. I didn't have CBS recently for maybe 3 weeks. I also haven't had my RSN (Fox Sports Carolinas) for a very long time, maybe a year or more.

    This all seems ridiculous to me. Is it simply not possible to have one TV provider (or streaming service if that's the way it has to be) that provides the channels I want without interruption? I won't say price doesn't matter, but I would rather pay $50 more per month and never have loss of channels than what I have now.

    I would prefer to stay with what I have from a convenience standpoint, but I'm open to moving to DIRECT TV or even traditional cable (Spectrum) if it would resolve this issue. Or a streaming service But I don't want to do that if it will simply be a new provider with the same problems of losing different channels periodically.

    Last year when I lost Fox Sports Carolinas I briefly subscribed to Youtube TV in order to get it, so I could watch my local NHL team (Hurricanes). Then at some point they lost the RSN. I subscribe to Center Ice, but of course the local team is blacked out on that. I understand I could do a VPN, but I don't understand that very well. Plus, that would only solve the RSN issue, not the loss of other channels.

    I would love any feedback on understanding the reality of modern TV. Do you simply have to accept that whatever provider you use, they're going to have periodic loss of (unpredictable) channels? It seems like such a bad system, or lack of a system. I realize that there is much more programming now than 10 years ago, but the fact that then you could get all of it on a consistent basis would seem to far outweigh the benefits of the current situation.

    This is probably obvious, but I say all of this with live sports as my main reason for TV. I could watch almost anything that was televised 10 years ago. As of right now I won't have access to several of the NFL playoff games this weekend.

    OK, end of post. Obviously, I am frustrated. Would love to know any recommendations, or if this is simply something to accept.

    [Also, DISH has offered me "temporary free access" to streaming services to access lost channels. For example, NBC streaming. However, it's more hassle, including not being able to use a DVR, which is how I watch almost everything, even if on only a brief delay. I also realize an over the air antenna would probably address loss of the major legacy networks. DISH offered to send me one, but it's on back order, and they don't know when it will be available. I want the DISH one so it can hook into the DISH DVR. Maybe any OTA antenna would do that, but I'm not aware of that. ]
     
  2. Jan 7, 2021 #2 of 12
    James Long

    James Long Ready for Uplink! Staff Member Super Moderator

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    Every provider has to negotiate to carry channels. Every provider has had a dispute where channels were removed. It is part of the system.
     
  3. Jan 8, 2021 #3 of 12
    md1970

    md1970 New Member

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    Oct 24, 2019
    Thanks for your post. I should have been clearer. I don't expect a provider that never loses channels. I have always lost channels with DISH, but until the past few years my memory is it was always rare and brief. It is far more now, in frequency and length of time. I don't ever remember not having access to a significant sporting event until the last few years. My question is whether how bad it is differs much among providers, or whether it's similar regardless of who you're with.
     
  4. Jan 8, 2021 #4 of 12
    harsh

    harsh Beware the Attack Basset

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    DISH has always been more frugal than most but to answer your question, all providers are having more difficulty settling carriage negotiations. While DISH was recently battling with Nexstar, DIRECTV had a similar battle with Tegna that was just a few days shorter.

    RSNs in particular have been a real problem since the takeover of many of the Fox RSNs by Sinclair Broadcasting. Sinclair plans to go their own way in partnership with Bally's as an adjunct to Bally's sports betting operations.

    Several of the popular streaming services have mostly done away with much of their RSN offerings recently. The landscape is indeed changing and sports viewers are perhaps the biggest losers.
     
  5. Jan 8, 2021 #5 of 12
    dennispap

    dennispap Icon

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    As long as you have the dish ota adapter, any antenna will work.
     
  6. Jan 8, 2021 #6 of 12
    harsh

    harsh Beware the Attack Basset

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    It is a very poor idea to recommend any random OTA antenna when the TS's OTA signal availability is unknown.
     
  7. Jan 8, 2021 #7 of 12
    md1970

    md1970 New Member

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    Oct 24, 2019
    Thanks for the helpful feedback on the reality that there is no "safe" option that protects you from these carriage issues. It's not what I hoped to find out, but it's good to know. In my situation it certainly seems like compared to 5-10 years ago, it's a worse consumer landscape. There are a lot more options, but not being able to get everything consistently from one provider seems like a bigger loss than whatever is gained by more competition.
     
  8. Jan 9, 2021 #8 of 12
    harsh

    harsh Beware the Attack Basset

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    It is pretty much impossible to avoid disputes so the best you can do is prepare for them as much as possible. The ad-supported model isn't bringing in the revenue that the business models call for.

    For cable channels, that may mean that you don't get roped into a long commitment so that you can hop to a different carrier as necessary.

    For local channels, you see what you can do about receiving them OTA or through Locast.
     
  9. dennispap

    dennispap Icon

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    I wasn't replying to his signal strength. I was replying to where he thought he had to only have the antenna from Dish for it to work with his receiver. ["I want the DISH one so it can hook into the DISH DVR. Maybe any OTA antenna would do that, but I'm not aware of that." ]
     
  10. harsh

    harsh Beware the Attack Basset

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    In that event, I would have noted that there is nothing proprietary or particularly unique about the antenna that DISH tuner requires.

    Implying that a random mud flap or "4K tower" from the local home improvement store is just as good as any other antenna is not good counsel.
     
  11. James Long

    James Long Ready for Uplink! Staff Member Super Moderator

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    You are reading in way more than was posted and are making unfounded accusations.
     
    dennispap likes this.
  12. md1970

    md1970 New Member

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    Oct 24, 2019
    OK, I'm following up now to update on what I've decided to do for now. If it makes more sense for me to post this in different forum to get more targeted responses, please let me know.

    As a DISH customer I currently lack three channels I care about, and it's all for sports: NBC, FOX, and my RSN. As I understand it, the first two are a local affiliates dispute, and the last one is an ongoing national issue. I have done two things. One, I requested an OTA antenna from DISH. They said they are sending one. This is the second time they said this, so hopefully it actually happens this time. As I understand it, I will connect this with my Hopper and be able to record OTA channels on my DVR, so I'll have full functionality in the same way as if I hadn't lost these channels. I watch almost everything on at least a short delay, so having DVR functionality is key. Obviously, this would also seem to protect me against the loss of any major legacy network channels in the future (by that I mean ABC, CBS, FOX, and NBC).

    In the meantime, I subscribed for a free 1-week trial of AT&T TV NOW, because it gets me the networks (for the NFL playoffs starting last weekend) and my RSN. It's the only streaming provider available for my RSN as I understand it, which is how I can watch the Carolina Hurricanes hockey games. I subscribe to Center Ice, but the Hurricanes games are blacked out since I'm in the local area. I understand I could do a VPN, but I don't know how that works. My plan is to stay with AT&T TV NOW for a month ($80) to cover the rest of the NFL playoffs, and then decide if it's worth continuing to pay for a few more months after that for the Hurricanes games. That's assuming the RSN dispute isn't resolved at some point in there, and given it has been going on a long time, I have no reason to think it will. I still find it amazing that all these pro franchises negotiated a deal without guaranteeing that their product would be available to a certain percentage of the potential viewership, but I don't know what factors go into these deals. Seems like a great way to decrease interest in your team, however.

    I'm wondering if subscribing to two services (for me DISH at this point ongoing, and also a no-contract streaming service when needed to capture anything DISH doesn't have at given time) is simply the reality of where things are with carriage rights deals always being in negotiations. It's a hassle and more expensive (how much more depends on how many months I'd need a streaming service), but maybe that's the way it is.

    I have been overall mostly satisfied with DISH but am not set on staying with them. But if DIRECT TV or cable (Spectrum for me) is going to have similar issues of periodic loss of channels, I don't see a reason to change out of current frustration with DISH. DISH has satisfactory picture quality and the DVR is quite good in my view. I also really like the ease of the 30-second button for skipping commercials, which may sound like a small thing but makes a big difference in viewing experience. Skipping commercials with the AT&T TV NOW DVR isn't near as smooth. I have that through Apple TV; maybe it's better with other set-ups.

    OK, I welcome any thoughts on whether this is simply the current/future reality of watching sports on TV (probably need to be prepared to subscribe to 2 services to get everything you want even though historically any of the major providers would have everything), or whether there are other ways for me to think about it.
     

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