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Sinclair may pull locals from Dish on 8/16

Discussion in 'General DISH™ Discussion' started by RAD, Aug 13, 2012.

  1. SayWhat?

    SayWhat? Know Nothing

    Jun 6, 2009
    *Stations should not be able to charge in their own DMA.

    *Carriers should be able to charge a nominal amount to cover their technical costs.

    *Customers should be able to choose to receive distant DMS of their choice for which those distant stations could charge a reasonable fee.
  2. James Long

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

    Apr 17, 2003
    If there must be payment I'd support "statutory licensing for all". Pay the stations the same way distant stations are paid for their feeds ... based on a nationwide formula - not the whims of local stations. I would also make all stations "must carry" and require satellite carriers to deliver stations to any subscriber who is in the station's coverage area (as defined by the FCC's coverage maps) extended out to the DMA lines as needed to cover white areas.
  3. broeddog

    broeddog AllStar

    Sep 11, 2009
    When they pull the CBS local in Grand Rapids in about an hour and a half I will be disappointed. I won't really miss watching preseason football but once the regular season starts it will be a different story. When I do watch network shows they are generally all on CBS so I hope this gets resolved quickly. There is only one CBS affiliate in this market it would be nice if it could be substituted with the national CBS channel but that won't happen, such is life I guess.
  4. Stewart Vernon

    Stewart Vernon Roving Reporter Staff Member Super Moderator DBSTalk Club

    Jan 7, 2005
    Kittrell, NC
    I disagree on this point, and I'll tell you why.

    IF Dish, for example, pays to carry a local then they have the right to resell that local and profit if they wish. That's our democracy and capitalism at work.

    But... if they were in a must-carry scenario, and did not pay the locals for retransmission rights, then I don't think they should even be able to charge a nominal fee for the equipment necessary to rebroadcast.

    Why, you ask?

    It's complicated to explain... but I'll try.

    In business there are lots of costs to doing business. Some of those (perhaps most) you can pass to your consumers, but there are sometimes costs you cannot pass to the customer.

    Dish has to spend millions of dollars to build and launch a satellite... but they can't just ask their customers to pay that cost up front. Instead, Dish has to divide that cost over years (amortization) because if customers had to pay the full cost of a satellite launch each time, their bills would have gone up too fast for Dish to have grown as a business when they first got started.

    Launching a satellite was a necessary cost of doing business... and one that Dish would recoup over time... but not something they could just lump in to the monthly bill and divide out to their small customer base in the beginning.

    Now... what does that have to do with locals?

    Dish has to pay for some equipment and probably someone to monitor from time to time, in order to retransmit those locals. It isn't free, but it isn't anywhere near the same expense as the cost of launching a satellite for any given DMA. Arguably, if you add up the cost of all the DMAs you might be in the same equivalent neighborhood, though.

    But... like the cost of the satellite launch, the cost of retransmitting locals is a cost of doing business.

    In the early days (and now) being able to carry locals was a HUGE boon for Dish. That's why they bragged each time they added a new DMA's locals. If Dish doesn't carry your locals, you probably are looking at DirecTV or cable... Dish knows that... so Dish gains untold amounts of customers because of having those locals.

    No locals = no customer in many DMAs... so the minimal cost in that DMA to have locals (the equipment, not the fees to the stations) pales compared to the money made on those customers if Dish entices them by having those locals.

    Locals were a carrot dangled to sign customers up for other more profitable packages.

    Yes, locals gain somewhat in that some customers can't get OTA and those eyes can be counted via Dish... but Dish gains FAR more by having locals that your local gains by being carried.

    So back to my original thoughts...

    IF the locals want carriage for free then Dish should give carriage and not charge customers. Dish wins customers by having the locals, the locals win by having those viewers. Each has to invest something to make it happen and profits more as a result.

    But if the local wants to charge... then Dish gets to charge... and more importantly, vice-versa... If Dish wants to charge, then they should have to pay.

    I would prefer free all-around... but as I said earlier... years ago that battle was fought and lost with locals vs cable in my DMA and I suspect others. The locals in my area were fine with free-to-cable retransmission IF cable (Time Warner in this case) would give those channels to customers. But Time Warner wanted to charge... so the locals said IF you're going to sell it, then you have to pay for it.

    Oh, and FYI... For years (maybe they still do, I don't know) a local station WRAL was giving away FREE OTA antennas to anyone who filled out a form and mailed it in and asked... so WRAL was doing their part as a local station to get you the ability to have their OTA signal for free... and those antennas cost money... so that's why I'm deaf to the "but Dish has to spend money to uplink the channels" argument...

    IF WRAL could afford to give away antennas to any customer who asked in this DMA... then Dish can afford to set up a couple of antennas and uplink equipment for the locals.

    Ask yourself... if Dish dropped all of your locals, would you stay with Dish or leave for DirecTV or cable? If your answer is "I'll stay" then your locals don't matter and Dish shouldn't be paying for them... if your answer is "I'll leave" then obviously Dish needs your locals to keep the rest of your business, so the investment for one-time antenna equipment + upkeep semi-regularly is worth it to keep you as a customer.
  5. James Long

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

    Apr 17, 2003
    What is the difference?

    DISH charged a nominal $5 for locals ... that is now built in to the published package prices. DirecTV once charged a nominal $3 for locals. Was it cheaper for them to provide locals? Or did they just bury more of the cost in the rest of the bill?

    If both DISH and DirecTV announced tomorrow that they no longer charged for locals ... but left their package prices the same as the current with locals price what difference does it make? They are making money off of having locals in their packages as well as spending a lot of money to be able to carry all the local channels in the country.

    It sounds like you are arguing over an accounting method.
  6. Shades228

    Shades228 DaBears

    Mar 18, 2008
    The problem is this is system has become backwards.

    Local stations use the national companies programming as the hostage. They are also required to pay their national affiliate a fee now to help them recoup the costs of things like NFL contracts and shows. This makes companies have to deal with both the national and local aspects of the company.

    There should be a retrans fee for the corporate affiliate such as NBC, FOX, CBS, ABC, and there shouldn't be any fees for the local stations. The local station should live off of it's add revenue and pay a set % of that to the affiliate for appropriate franchise and license fees. Local stations should never be allowed to choose to be blacked out and the costs for these stations should be a set cost for all providers per subscriber in each DMA.

    Now some people will say this gives too much power to say FOX who could then nationally pull FOX but they would lose millions in fees which would make them think twice where a local station may only lose a few thousand in ad revenue or gifting depending on the market. A national blackout would also get the attention of the FCC and Congress which no one wants in the industry at this point but is getting more evident that they will be soon.
  7. phrelin

    phrelin Hall Of Fame DBSTalk Club

    Jan 18, 2007
    Taking Fox as an example, the problem is Fox owns the Fox station in the following DMA's:
    • Atlanta
    • Austin, Texas
    • Boston
    • Chicago
    • Dallas - Fort Worth
    • Detroit
    • Houston
    • Los Angeles
    • Memphis
    • Minneapolis - St. Paul
    • New York City
    • Ocala - Gainesville, FL
    • Orlando - Daytona Beach - Melbourne
    • Philadelphia
    • Phoenix
    • Tampa - St. Petersburg - Sarasota
    • Washington, D.C.
    So like all the networks, when we talk affiliates we're generally talking about smaller DMA's. When Fox in 2010 told their affiliates that the going rate for the network's share of the retrans fee was to be $1 per subscriber per month, some balked. They lost their affiliation. The rest have to collect that $1. Some have up to 5 years in order to allow retrans contracts to be renegotiated and there is for most a three year phase in.

    This dispute with Sinclair includes its 19 Fox affiliates. Before they collect a dime for themselves they have to get $1 for Fox. It's not like we didn't know this was coming. See the thread News Corp. To Pursue Fox Retrans Fees.

    If the affiliate would like some money, say 50¢ per subscriber per month, that runs the bill to $1.50. There's four large nets, so that starts things out at $6.00. Other locals want something. So in an area that has 8 HD locals, were going to start out at $10. Then Dish has to uplink these stations located all over the map.

    It won't be long before locals will be at least $12 to the consumer with say $2 going to Dish to uplink to an expensive satellite, maybe $7 going to national programming providers and $3 divided up among the local stations.

    I have said it before, but I'll point out that the national broadcast networks should be forced to have national feeds just like their cable sister stations. Let them compete on an even playing field. There really is no need for local stations that can't survive on their own. It is the 1958 broadcast TV economic model in 2012.

    Of course, I'm not sure NBC could succeed as a cable channel. Could they negotiate 10¢? I have a hunch if they disappeared from a signal provider few would care enough to put up with the hassle of changing providers....
  8. Stewart Vernon

    Stewart Vernon Roving Reporter Staff Member Super Moderator DBSTalk Club

    Jan 7, 2005
    Kittrell, NC
    To some degree I probably am... but it really is a principle we are debating here anyway... of whether or not to pay for locals at any level.

    Some thing locals shouldn't be paid... others think we shouldn't have to pay for locals.

    The smarter business move is to bury your cost of delivery into your base package price because people have to subscribe to a base package and you give them locals anyway, so bury your expenditures like you bury everything else.

    As much as people think they want itemized bills... nobody truly wants that.

    You don't want to know that 5 cents of your bill went to paying the CSR that took your order... you'd haggle that you ordered online so why are you paying 5 cents for a service you didn't use.

    We could beat line items to death.

    So... it's smarter if Dish needs to recoup costs for ANY cost of doing business like launching satellites, maintaining uplink locations, putting up antennas for locals, etc. etc.

    If they do that... then they wouldn't be charging for retransmission per se and we could get back to the must-carry argument and Dish could say they don't charge for locals so why do they have to pay... and then there would be a stronger case to be made.

    If only the cable companies had seen it that way back in the day and instead of opening the floodgates for paying for LiL retransmission they had opted for must-carry across the board back when that option was on the table.

    Everybody pass on free locals back in the day because they knew customers wanted locals and knew they could charge for them because people would pay... so the precedent has been set.

    Being a family forum I have to censor the joke... but it's like the joke that goes...

    Guy: How about $20?
    Gal: Who do you think I am?
    Guy: We've already established that, now we're just negotiating the price.

    So... back in the day, paytv providers established that they wanted to charge for locals... now they have to haggle over the price of doing business that way.
  9. Stewart Vernon

    Stewart Vernon Roving Reporter Staff Member Super Moderator DBSTalk Club

    Jan 7, 2005
    Kittrell, NC
    I don't disagree with you in principle... in fact most of what you say aligns with my thoughts as well.

    The only thing that I think we diverge on... is I think I value my local channels and local content more perhaps than it appears you do.

    I grant you that CBS, FOX, ABC, NBC (probably even in that order) have the most important content that I watch... so if they went national with their programming I would get most of what I view regularly that way.

    But... I do like my local news and weather and sports... and I do like some of the other things my local channels do for and in the community... and if you take away the network affiliation and content... most of the local stations would fold, I fear.

    CBS, for example, wouldn't fill the rest of the day with quality content... they would just have infomercials and junk content I'm sure... in place of where my local stations would have had time for their content, on the national feeds... but my locals wouldn't be able to fill all that empty network content time.

    I see a lot of people who want to choose their local from another market... but they fail to consider that the local from that other market only exists for the same reason the local they don't want exists!

    I think people would miss the local content of their LiLs more than they suspect if the model folded as we know it.
  10. SayWhat?

    SayWhat? Know Nothing

    Jun 6, 2009
    Are they dark?
  11. sregener

    sregener Godfather

    Apr 17, 2012
    And this makes an excellent argument for making locals an a la carte option again, and releasing a dual-tuner OTA module for the Hopper. People who have no choice in how they get their locals, due to their location, will still be able to get their locals through satellite (or cable, which presumably will have to collect the same retransmission fees.) And people who want to and can, will set up antenna systems and happily send $0/month to their locals.

    I find the HD LiL picture quality on Dish to be severely lacking. I expect to get a Hopper OTA module as soon as one becomes available. I wish it was dual-tuner, because then I'd never need the HD LiL. But with a single-tuner, there will be times when I have to pick and choose which program I want to look best and which one can suffer from severe color quashing and macro-blocking. It is irksome to me that even with an OTA module, I'll still have to pay for locals through Dish.
  12. dakeeney

    dakeeney Legend

    Aug 29, 2004
    some are posting on Sat Guys that their Sinclair stations are saying no deal was reached then some of the staions went off and then were back on twenty minutes later. Who knows what's happening. I guess we're on 'a need to know bases'.
  13. dstout

    dstout Legend

    Jul 19, 2005
    The Nashville Sinclair stations are on this morning.
  14. dakeeney

    dakeeney Legend

    Aug 29, 2004
    Sat Guys is reporting that a deal was reached between Sinclair and Dish.
  15. rtd2

    rtd2 Legend

    Oct 2, 2006
  16. dakeeney

    dakeeney Legend

    Aug 29, 2004
  17. dakeeney

    dakeeney Legend

    Aug 29, 2004
    Now we need to jerk AMC back into line.
  18. rtd2

    rtd2 Legend

    Oct 2, 2006

    100% with you on that!
  19. ATARI

    ATARI Hall Of Fame

    May 10, 2007
    Time for a mod to post this news on the front page...

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