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SHVIA Renewal

Discussion in 'General DISH™ Discussion' started by Link, Feb 25, 2004.

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  1. Link

    Link Hall Of Fame

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    FROM SKY REPORT E-NEWS:

    DBS, Others Square Off on SHVIA Renewal
    The first of what's expected to be a series of hearings into the re-authorization of the Satellite Home Viewer Improvement Act took place Tuesday, held by the House Subcommittee on Courts, The Internet and Intellectual Property.

    Lawmakers are debating an extension of the statutory license that allows satellite TV to deliver distant network and superstation programming. The current license is set to expire at the end of this year.

    David Moskowitz, senior vice president and general counsel at EchoStar and chairman of the Satellite Broadcasting and Communications Association, suggested that the satellite TV business should be given a permanent license for distant networks and superstations. Others on the panel - copyright holders represented by the Motion Picture Association of America and TV station owners represented by the National Association of Broadcasters - were not enthusiastic about that proposal.

    Bob Lee, president and general manager of the CBS affiliate in Roanoake, Va., and NAB's representative at the hearing, said the ability of DBS to deliver distant networks "is plagued by satellite industry abuse."

    Lawmakers and those testifying also pressed issues concerning the delivery of local TV via satellite into more markets. Lee said broadcasters want to see complete availability of satellite-delivered locals for all 210 DMAs, "and satellite TV clearly is capable of doing so," he said.

    For his part, Moskowitz addressed discrepancies between cable and satellite and what can be offered for broadcast programming.

    He said there should be some degree of parity with cable when it comes to regulations governing the carriage of broadcast channels. For example, while cable has virtually unlimited ability to provide broadcast signals – both network and non-network as well as distant or local – to its subscribers, satellite TV providers face restrictions on the broadcast signals they can provide to customers.

    Lawmakers at the hearing didn't provide specifics concerning an extension of the statutory licenses expiring at the end of the year.

    Orrin Hatch, the Utah Republican and chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, introduced in January legislation providing a five-year extension of the statutory license allowing satellite TV services to deliver distant network and superstation programming. Local TV delivery has a permanent copyright license, and isn't part of the satellite extension act.
     
  2. Link

    Link Hall Of Fame

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    What abuse is he talking about???? The only abuse is to the consumers who are told they cannot receive networks via satellite and have to put up with poor off air reception or pay outrageous cable rates for a snowy picture of their local channels.
     
  3. James Long

    James Long Ready for Uplink! Staff Member Super Moderator DBSTalk Club

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    Satellite providers knowingly selling distant network stations to people who do not qualify. All it seems to require is that you lie to the provider. The fines for providing service to an inappropriate address is so low that the providers don't have to care if someone defrauds the system.

    JL
     
  4. wcswett

    wcswett Godfather

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    Any subscriber who pays for all of their own DMA local channels should be allowed to subscribe to any other DMA. Revenue subsidy to locals is covered by retransmission agreement with the distributor. This arrangement would also provide continued incentive for distributors to expand the number of available DMA's.

    --- WCS
     
  5. Sparkman87

    Sparkman87 Legend

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    I wholeheartedly agree with this. As long as I pay for my local channels, I should have the right to pay for a distant signal as well.
     
  6. FritzM

    FritzM Legend

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    Perhaps local tv stations are today's buggy whip makers. I've done without local stations for several years and don't miss them a bit, not one bit. Local news is just murder and mayhem and water main leaks. Tomorrow's paper is soon enough for that. Weather? Car radio gives me that. And HD only plays on 2 of 5 channels in Peoria. Not that way with the NYC channels. The NYC channels don't put Bradley U. basketball games on, or Oral Roberts either. I'm about to move into a new house, changing from E* to D* so I'll lose my grandfathered in access to the NYC channels. I'll miss them terribly.
     
  7. James Long

    James Long Ready for Uplink! Staff Member Super Moderator DBSTalk Club

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    I won't say "any" other DMA, but under the current rules you could live within the OTA of a local station and not be able to subscribe to it because it isn't in your DMA. That's bad for the station and their viewers.

    JL
     
  8. shilton

    shilton Godfather

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    I WILL say ANY DMA! No one tells you that you MUST buy only your local newspaper and no one says you can buy these magazines, but you can't buy these, etc. TV is no different. If the local station's programming is so compelling, you will watch. It the TV from another city is better, you will watch that instead. All the SHVIA does is prevent consumers from having freedom of choice. Heck, the cable company in my home town carries an ABC affilliate from Altoona and also one from Pittsburgh, same for CBS. If cable can do it, why can't satellite tv.

    Let the consumers decide what to watch and where.
     
  9. James Long

    James Long Ready for Uplink! Staff Member Super Moderator DBSTalk Club

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    Cable cannot do "any" DMA. They can only do area stations. You can't get Grand Rapids locals, I can't get Altoona's, no matter how good Comcast is.

    What cable does do is stations from neighboring DMAs. And THAT is what I was talking about. Satellite being able to offer what cable can.

    JL
     
  10. shilton

    shilton Godfather

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    We still are bordering on a forced monopoly with SHVIA (or cable's rules from what you say)...No one says what newspaper I have to buy...why do they say what tv stations I must watch. They use "copyright protection" as the excuse, but many newspapers pull from the same sources, AP, etc. So I guess they have to tell me to buy my local paper only, as it'd be unfair to them if I bought a paper from another city that got its news from the same sources. It seems silly...but do you see that I mean? Its a double standard
     
  11. James Long

    James Long Ready for Uplink! Staff Member Super Moderator DBSTalk Club

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    The trouble is that the broadcasters themselves have agreed to rules outside of SHVIA and the FCC rules. Don't blame government for that one. Blame the corporations who offer programming with "market exclusivity" such as the major networks. Newspapers have different contracts (although most newspapers have limited circulation). Radio stations also have to contract for their markets.

    SHVIA is a permissive law, not a restriction. It ALLOWS satellite providers to provide distant network stations and superstations well outside of each station's respective broadcast area. There are limits to SHVIA, but without it there would be no distants without much more complicated arrangements.

    One more thought about your city newspaper. Most have distinct delivery areas. Counties or collections of counties where you can buy the paper. They may overlap with another paper (as TV broadcast signals often overlap into another market) Some do mail delivery anywhere in the US. But all have permission from the copyright holder to perform such distributions (including website distribution).

    There is nothing stopping you from driving into the next newspaper market and picking up a newspaper. There is nothing stopping you from driving a VCR into the next TV market and recording broadcasts there. On that score, TV and newspapers are equal.

    JL
     
  12. JohnH

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    Sounds nice for the subscriber, but certainly would have the effect of reducing the local ad revenue in your Market.

    The revenue subsidy you mention for the most part does not exist.
     
  13. MarkA

    MarkA God Bless America! DBSTalk Gold Club

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    It bugs me immensely that I can pick up several stations from Spokane OTA (CBS, FOX, and PBS) yet if I wanted LIL on DISH Network I could only get Missoula's own far worse stations... That's something that needs to be fixed.
     
  14. FaxMan

    FaxMan Legend

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    I'd be more than happy to reimburse my local stations for the loss of add revenue from the rental of my eyeballs if they would let me subscribe to a national HD feed of their network.

    Maybe the provider of the national network feed would also participate in that financial transaction since they would now have my eyeballs as their new asset.
     
  15. Mike123abc

    Mike123abc Hall Of Fame/Supporter DBSTalk Gold Club

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    What I would like to see happen:

    1. satellite can offer distant market HDTV if the local channel is not broadcasting at their full rated HDTV power. No questions asked, no standard definition channel happens to cover them, etc.

    2. If the station is full power HDTV and their signal cannot reach you, you can get the distant HDTV feed, even if the local station's analog signal comes in loud and clear. No 50% rule, you must be able to reasonably lock on with a reasonable antenna and have it be a reliable signal, not just when it is cloudy or a full moon, etc.
     
  16. wcswett

    wcswett Godfather

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    Which I believe is why SHVIA provides for (and should provide for) retransmission compensation. If you then tie paying for locals to the priviledge of receiving distants, you close the loop to preserve the locals' revenue and keep them on the air. Problem is that with retransmission compensation you have opened up a pay-tv revenue stream that's not part of the "commercials=free tv" business model (currently being undermined by the advent of the DVR, by the way). All this effort... and just to preserve the free tv over the VHF/UHF spectrum. I just want my network HDTV, which I will never receive OTA here, 90 miles from the closest station.

    It doesn't currently, because stations are so concerned with viewership numbers tied to their advertising revenue stream that they'll eventually cave in when negotiating with carriers, especially when said carrier already has agreements with their competition. We have, however, recently seen what CBS/Viacom is willing to do in negotiating with carriers, re: DISH Network.

    The FCC is trying very hard to preserve the outdated VHF/UHF free tv business model in the face of quantum leaps in technology. In my opinion it's only a matter of time before this effort fails, and the advent of DVR's is the first nail in the coffin. The next will appear if the switch to digital leaves a lot of viewers with no OTA reception, instead of just poor reception, or large parts of the country unable to receive HDTV because they have lousy local stations.

    I believe the FCC and Congress are pushing very hard to get the satellite providers to cover all 200 or so DMA's, and they're using SHVIA legislation as a carrot/stick. Once that happens, though, I think there will be some leeway to push network content providers into a more contemporary business model and allow subscribers to get the content they're willing to pay for.

    --- WCS
     
  17. FaxMan

    FaxMan Legend

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    Is there information available that puts a 'value' on a viewer in terms of lost advertising revenue should they defect to distant programming? How much are my eyeballs worth?

    It seems like some sort of organization could be created that could collect those fees from the subscribers via the re-transmitters and re-distribute the funds to the appropriate local station(s). This revenue (sans marketing costs) could be used and an incentive for the local stations to either ramp up to HD or go on vacation with the proceeds.

    Anybody interested in a new business venture?


    =John
     
  18. FTA Michael

    FTA Michael Hall Of Fame

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    The real way to do that is through a statutory copyright fee for distant OTA signals.

    My plan: Keep must-carry for locals but tie retransmission agreements to a formula roughly based on viewership (viewers in market x ratings), with the understanding that a sufficiently low rating results in $0 retransmission fees for that station.

    Then, after indirectly paying for all locals, viewers may choose any OTA channel that the carrier can deliver. The carrier charges whatever it wants, but must send a certain amount (50c/month?) to the originating station.

    This would work pretty well for getting money to syndicators, who won't be able to offer local exclusivity but will get some double- and quadruple-paying viewers. But if it ever gets popular, the sports leagues would pitch a fit. How many folks would dump Sunday Ticket if they could subscribe to 10 Fox channels?

    Therefore, I suggest offering one restriction: viewers can get locals plus OTA channels from bordering markets. This would match what cable does in many areas. Sell it that way, and it just might work.
     
  19. wcswett

    wcswett Godfather

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    This information is probably only available to marketting at each local station (proprietary info), but anecdotal evidence suggests that the aggregate value of viewing audiences is falling as ratings for off-air broadcasting falls. I know my own local news on the ABC affiliate, the programming they actually produce rather than just distribute over the air, is between 1/3 and 1/2 commercials, reducing a "30-minute news" broadcast to about 18 minutes.

    I think this will be more-or-less self-enforcing for the time beingand within the next year, since satellite delivery is shifting to spot beams for most locals. I would prefer to get "east" and "west" coast feeds, to defeat the networks running their best shows in the same time slots and forcing viewers to choose between them. Of course, there's nothing to prevent DISH and DTV from dropping the encryption on their locals packages and making them all available free-to-air to anyone with an FTA receiver.

    --- WCS
     
  20. Link

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    I could have sworn I read when they were revising the SHVA, the goal was for subscribers to have access to their local networks plus the right to subscribe to a west coast feed (or east coast depending on location).

    As far as 2 DMAs go, I don't see why you couldn't subscribe to 2 of them. Take Washington DC and Baltimore, MD for example. The cities are 30 miles apart and most people can receiver both DMA channels with an antenna and cable carries them both, so why couldn't you on your Dish pay for both??
     
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