Sinclair Channels Threaten to Leave DISH

Discussion in 'General DISH™ Discussion' started by James Long, Aug 9, 2021.

  1. crodrules

    crodrules Active Member

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    Yes, exactly. In the example I gave above, the channel I am trying to receive on RF 20 (WOHZ) is virtual channels 19 and 43. (It is a translator of both WOIO and WUAB, which also share the frequency of RF 10 on their main channel.) The other RF 20, WTVS from Detroit (that is potentially interfering with my signal) is on virtual channel 56. The only reason I thought to check the actual frequency of that station was because I was watching the progress of the Hopper's scan. It found a station that it normally doesn't find (which turned out to be WTVS) right after it found another local translator in my area that I know is on RF 18. So, I looked it up online, and sure enough, it is RF 20.

    The old ViP receivers would actually tell you which frequency is being scanned while the scan is in progress. Unfortunately, newer receivers and other tuners these days usually only have a progress bar or percentage indicator, rather than show the exact frequency. So, without looking it up, you are left to guess about the frequency of each channel that is found, based on how far along the progress bar is. Otherwise, you have to actually count each tiny jump of the progress bar to keep track of what frequency it is on, rather than only paying attention when channels are actually found and added to the count, as I usually tend to do while watching the scan.
     
  2. bjdotson

    bjdotson Legend

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    The shows that wife and I watch premiere From September 20th - October 10th. Date seems to be planned to put maximum pressure on the talks. I am not hopeful.
     
  3. Sep 1, 2021 #104 of 190
    crodrules

    crodrules Active Member

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    Update: this experiment has been a failure. I blame my antenna this time. The antenna I had was a really old model, with the prong connectors to hook it up to a really old analog TV. So, I had to connect the prongs to an adapter to convert it to a push-on cable connector. I then added a barrel connector so I could screw on a length of coaxial cable, to be able to get the antenna as high as possible. Where the built-in cable attached to the antenna, the plastic was cracked, and the bare wire was showing. This is not such a big deal, as that could easily be fixed with some electrical tape. However, it does indicate that the wire suffered a sharp bend at that point, and could be subject to breaking easily.

    I was partially right about the DTV Pal. It does indeed allow you to select which frequency you want to scan. However, you still have to manually start the scan. When it scans, the scan only lasts for the same amount of time that it would scan each frequency if it were doing a full scan. This only allows a ridiculously short number of seconds to reposition the antenna before the scan stops, and then you have to start over. I was unable to find a signal on RF 20 this way. So far, the automatic standby scan has also come up empty.

    My next step is to buy a better antenna, and then try again.
    Thanks for the link, DJ Lon! This will be my next purchase.
     
    DJ Lon likes this.
  4. Sep 2, 2021 #105 of 190
    Michael P

    Michael P Hall Of Fame

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    WOHZ is a low power repeater while WTVS is a full power signal that may skip in regularly especially since there is not much ground clutter over Lake Erie. You may need a highly directional antenna aimed at Mansfield. You may even need to go to extremes to block the Detroit signal. I've seen an aluminum garbage can used as a shield (Open end pointed at the desired station).

    Ironically people in Lake and Ashtabula counties have the same problem with the main RF 10 signal of WOIO/WUAB with CFPL in London Ontario Canada.

    The ownwers of WOIO/WUAB sold off thier RF 28 signal that was WUAB's ATSC assigned frequency and chose to keep RF 10 despite the interference from CFPL. In the analog days I used to watch CFPL every summer as a kid. It came in nearly as strong as a local station.
     
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  5. Sep 3, 2021 #106 of 190
    crodrules

    crodrules Active Member

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    Well, now even Locast will not work at all. So, this may make me even more desperate to fix this problem. I would hate to have to reopen my Dish account and start paying the $15 per month for Locals again.

    I still have WUAB scanned into my DTV Pal from back when it was on RF 28. (Obviously, I no longer receive anything, but I still have the channel in my guide. I like looking at the list of every OTA channel I have ever received, local or distant.) Back then, the signal here was not really very reliable. (None of the Cleveland stations are reliable here.) However, at least WUAB would come in occasionally. I never could get a whiff of WOIO's RF 10 signal.

    I do give Gray Media Group credit for at least launching a local translator in my area (purchasing the existing WOHZ). None of the other Cleveland stations have bothered to do anything similar here. Now, it is just a matter of actually receiving that translator's signal.
     
  6. Sep 8, 2021 #107 of 190
    crodrules

    crodrules Active Member

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    It is official: Dish has apparently decided to flip the entire Zanesville market package (except the still-not-carried in-market NBC WHIZ) over to the Cleveland DMA. With today's uplink, Dish changed the only remaining Columbus station (CBS WBNS) to the Cleveland CBS affiliate, WOIO:
    I am not aware of any dispute between Dish and Tegna (owner of WBNS) that would require Dish to make this change. So, it seems that Dish is still preparing for the long-term possibility of having to go without the Sinclair-owned stations, which means that those traditionally-available adjacent-market channels may never return to the Zanesville package, or at least not for a very long time. This does not look good for the state of Dish's ongoing negotiations with Sinclair. Dish probably felt it was easier to simply provide all-Cleveland channels as fill-in distants, rather than have subscribers in Zanesville calling Dish to ask why some of their channels are from Cleveland, while others are from Columbus.

    Alternatively, this could be a power grab by Gray Media Group (owner of WOIO) trying to expand that station's coverage even further. Ironically, WOIO's low-power repeater station here in Mansfield (WOHZ) was supposed to help expand their OTA coverage to better serve my area, but I have yet to actually receive that station OTA at all since that change was made.
     
  7. Sep 9, 2021 #108 of 190
    James Long

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

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    The "significantly viewed" stations for Muskingum County are:
    WHIZ-TV, 18, Zanesville, OH
    WCMH-TV, 4, Columbus, OH (formerly WLWC)
    WSYX, 6, Columbus, OH (formerly WTVN)
    WBNS-TV, 10, Columbus, OH
    +WTTE, 28, Columbus, OH

    The above stations could be carried as "significantly viewed". Other stations could be carried as distants. DISH gets the choice of what channels to carry (either option is legal). Carrying a station in the list above would normally require paying the station. Carrying a station not on the list would require paying the distants fund which pays the copyright holders.
     
  8. Sep 9, 2021 #109 of 190
    crodrules

    crodrules Active Member

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    Yes, and technically that list means that Dish could be providing the NBC affiliate from Columbus (WCMH) to Zanesville viewers, on the condition that the in-market NBC WHIZ also is carried. (The rules do not allow carriage of a qualifying out-of-market affiliate without carriage of the in-market affiliate, regardless of the out-of-market station's Significantly Viewed status.) However, Dish never did exercise that option, even when they were still carrying WHIZ. Without WHIZ, NBC in the Zanesville package is a non-starter.

    Regardless, the Significantly Viewed list does serve to indicate which affiliates are the most popular in that county (in this case, the only county in the Zanesville market). So, refusing to carry those stations may alienate Dish subscribers in the Zanesville market who would prefer to receive the same stations that every other provider carries.

    On the other hand, Dish runs the risk that prolonged carriage of the Cleveland stations there could possibly end up having the opposite effect. Those distant affiliates may prove to be so popular that Zanesville locals package subscribers will end up complaining to Dish if/when the Columbus stations ever return.

    In any event, none of the Sinclair stations have actually been dropped yet. If a dispute with Tegna is pending, it is still on the very distant horizon, as Dish has made no other preparations for that dispute. In either case, Dish was not forced to drop these channels from the Zanesville package, at least not yet. So, this seems like jumping the gun, or an unforced error on Dish's part.

    It is possible that Dish's contract to carry the stations on a Significantly Viewed basis had a different expiration date than the main contract for in-market carriage of those stations. However, it still seems strange that they would not agree to a temporary extension in that situation, just as they did for the in-market carriage.
     
  9. Sep 9, 2021 #110 of 190
    James Long

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

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    It is an odd arrangement, carrying WOIO on channel 10 instead of their Cleveland channel number (19). I believe that DISH has made an error on the OTA mapping so people MAY get the WBNS guide data on the OTA WOIO feed (in the Cleveland area where OTA is feasible). There is probably a reason for the affiliate change ... does WOIO have better sports coverage than WBNS (Browns games)?

    Significantly viewed as an indication of popularity would not be accurate. Significantly viewed is defined by OTA reception in the defined area (Muskingum County in this case). This would not include cable or satellite delivered signals so it would be based on how many people could receive a channel OTA. Enough people would need to receive the signal OTA before it could be considered significantly viewed. The list is biased toward the stations originally placed on the list decades ago for cable TV - for a new station to be added it would need to have a signal that reached the defined area AND become popular to receive OTA (not via cable/satellite).

    Cable systems could carry stations from both Columbus and Cleveland in Zanesville ... regardless of if they are on the significantly viewed list. WHIZ would be protected on cable as an in-market station. Significantly viewed was created as a way for local stations with significant OTA viewership to force carriage on cable systems. The current additional use of the list to allow optional carriage by satellite companies was not the intent of the list.

    I don't see WOIO replacing WBNS as being related to the Sinclair issue - which is still pending ("mid September" extension) and all the channels remain in place and hidden ready to be activated if the contract expires with Sinclair. Don't consider Sinclair to be over until it is announced as over. From an uplink standpoint, the separate OTA EPGs DISH put up for the Sinclair channels remain in service and OTA EPG is expected to shift back to the via satellite channels once the "dispute" is fully settled.
     
  10. Sep 9, 2021 #111 of 190
    Michael P

    Michael P Hall Of Fame

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    I did not think Dish could do that. Zanesville is so far from Cleveland, it doesn't make sense. WOIO should be happy, they were giving weather reports for Carrington, OH which is solidly in the Columbus DMA. There lousy RF 10 main signal can't even reach parts of Lake and Ashtabula Counties (thanks to interference from CFPL).
     
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  11. Sep 9, 2021 #112 of 190
    harsh

    harsh Beware the Attack Basset

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    You may see more benefit from running a whole new cabling system to the existing antenna. It sounds like you have a nasty amalgamation of adapters and extensions.
     
  12. Sep 9, 2021 #113 of 190
    crodrules

    crodrules Active Member

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    I already threw away the antenna I described in that post. Where the plastic was cracked, the wire inside finally completely broke. It was just a last-ditch effort to see if I could still get any use out of that antenna before I threw it away, just to satisfy my own curiosity. I will use a new cable with the new antenna.
     
  13. Sep 9, 2021 #114 of 190
    crodrules

    crodrules Active Member

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    Dish did the same thing with the other two channels on August 11, putting WEWS (Cleveland-market 5) on channel 6 (formerly WSYX) and WJW (Cleveland-market 8) on channel 28:
    Ironically, putting WOIO on channel 10 is the one move that makes the most sense, since channel 10 is WOIO's actual RF frequency. Similarly, in the Cleveland local package, Dish puts WMFD on channel 12 (same as their RF 12) while their virtual channel is still channel 68.

    I assume with all of these Zanesville moves that they are only intended to be temporary. So, Dish is putting the equivalent network affiliates on the same channel numbers where viewers are used to finding those networks. This is nothing new, as that is exactly what Dish does every time they replace an affiliate in the Zanesville market due to a dispute. In theory, any existing timers for network programming on those channel numbers should also continue to work, regardless of which affiliate is actually carried on that channel number.

    I thought of another possible reason: syndicated programming. With the package the way it had been since mid-August, there may have been too much duplication with having WBNS in the mix with WJW and especially WEWS. Meanwhile, other syndicated shows that air on the WSYX ABC and Fox channels may have been left out after the switch to the Cleveland affiliates. So, the switch to WOIO may have been an attempt to replace some of that missing syndicated programming, while having less duplication.

    That creates a whole new set of problems with any syndicated shows that air on WBNS and WKYC (also owned by Tegna, so some similarities in the syndicated programming carried are likely). With the old mix, Zanesville viewers still had access to those shows on WBNS, but now those shows would be missing with the new lineup.

    I have not actually checked the guides for any of these channels to see what syndicated shows air on which channel in each market. I am just guessing based on memory from when I had both markets (Cleveland and Columbus) on cable, and would flip through the channels in the afternoon.

    More importantly, to be added to the list, the station would need to spend the money to conduct the required survey of OTA viewers to prove that the station is significantly viewed, and then submit those results to the FCC. There is little incentive for stations to do that, since there is no way that they can force their way into the satellite local packages even after going to all of that effort to get added to the list. This is likely why WMFD has never been added to the Significantly Viewed list, despite being a full-power station located near a DMA boundary, with the geographic majority of its service contour (although likely not the majority of the population that it serves) being located in other nearby markets, particularly the Columbus market.
     
    Last edited: Sep 9, 2021
  14. James Long

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

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    With cable there are multiple ways to get carried. They are not limited to strict market boundaries like satellite was. Significantly viewed was invented to solve disputes where a station was not carried on a cable system in a community where they claimed coverage. If the station was carried there was no reason for the station to claim significantly viewed. Most cable systems will carry any local station they can receive at their point of presence rendering significantly viewed moot in many cases. (Stations do not need to force systems to do what they are already doing.) Satellite had the opposite problem. A strong transmitter on the wrong side of a DMA line was prohibited from being carried in the neighboring market until SV was put in place for satellite. Just one of the inequities in carriage laws. SV for satellite made the situation better, but there are still inequities.

    The point was that being on the SV list does not make the station more or less popular than stations not on the list. The list is not of "the most popular stations in Muskingum counties". It is a list of stations that either had significant OTA viewership when the list was created or proved they had significant OTA viewership at a later date. No more, no less, no popularity compared to other stations involved at all.
     
  15. NYDutch

    NYDutch DBSTalk Club DBSTalk Club

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    And just to confuse the "Significantly viewed" and "Local-into-Local" situation a little more, there's the option in Mississippi, New Hampshire, and Vermont that allows the sat companies to carry in-state stations that are outside of the viewer's out of state assigned DMA. Dish subscribers in Bennington County, VT, for instance, receive both the assigned Albany, NY DMA plus the Burlington, VT DMA locals, while subscribers in Windham County, VT receive the assigned Boston, MA DMA plus the Burlington DMA.
     
    Last edited: Sep 10, 2021
    crodrules likes this.
  16. crodrules

    crodrules Active Member

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    Yes, and Oregon was the fourth state with a "special exception" included in that same section of the law, which would allow four counties in Oregon (designated for out-of-state markets) to receive at least some stations from Portland. The Oregon situation was trickier, as the determination for which Portland stations should be added to the locals package was based on cable viewership of those stations in each county, if I recall correctly. So, I am not sure if that "special exception" has ever actually been used, especially on Dish. It is still available as an option though, as far as I know.
     
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  17. crodrules

    crodrules Active Member

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    Still, it is odd that this is the first time that Dish has ever offered a Zanesville "local" package without including any of the channels that are on the list for Muskingum County. It is also odd that Dish chose to replace all three networks with affiliates from the same distant DMA (Cleveland). I remember one previous dispute with Sinclair where their Columbus affiliates were temporarily replaced in Zanesville with one station from Cleveland and one station from Youngstown, for example. So, combined with the continued refusal to carry the in-market WHIZ, this move comes across as being a blatant attempt to flip Muskingum County to the Cleveland DMA, if those channels prove to be popular enough (Nielsen ratings). Then again, the lack of carriage of WHIZ by itself could have been seen as an attempt to flip Muskingum County to the Columbus DMA, yet that never happened in all of these years.

    Either way, if Nielsen ever does re-designate Muskingum County for a different DMA, then Dish would regain the ability to offer NBC there by offering that DMA's affiliate, regardless of whether or not WHIZ is carried at that point. Considering that such a DMA flip would also qualify Muskingum County for all of the other local channels carried in that new DMA (which would be a lot more channels than they currently receive in the Zanesville local package) it seems like eliminating the DMA boundary would be a win-win for Zanesville local subscribers and for Dish.
     
  18. scooper

    scooper Hall Of Fame

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    Not a surprise at all if you think about it - For Primetime to work, you have to have the Big 4 (ABC, CBS, NBC, and FOX) for a market to all be on ONE transponder.
     
  19. crodrules

    crodrules Active Member

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    Not a problem at all for Zanesville. All of the feeds for that market are on separate transponders than the ones used for the originating market:
    Local Channels on DISH Network (Unofficial Listing)
    Zanesville, OH
    6-00 WEWS CLEVELAND, OH (ABC) - 6510 SD 119ー 4sB14 A (abc) 5270 HD 61.5ー 32s4 A (abc)
    10-00 WOIO SHAKER HEIGHTS, OH (CBS) SV* - 6511 SD 119ー 4sB14 A (cbs) 5271 HD 61.5ー 32s4 A (cbs)
    18-00 LOCAL -
    5272 HD 61.5ー 32s4 A (nbc)
    28-00 WJW CLEVELAND, OH (FOX) - 6513 SD 119ー 4sB14 A (fox) 5273 HD 61.5ー 32s4 A (fox)
    62-00 WOUB ATHENS, OH (PBS) - 6514 SD 119ー 4sB14 A () 5274 HD 61.5ー 27s30 A ()


    Specifically, all of the HD feeds provided for Zanesville have always been on the 61.5 satellite. The Columbus, Ohio local package has never even been anywhere on Eastern Arc. So, Dish could pick any distant channels they want to simulcast on the Zanesville local transponder, and PTAT would continue to work (for ABC, CBS, and Fox) as it always has.
     

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