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SV Only Applies to OTA?

Discussion in 'Legislative and Regulatory Issues' started by gbranch, Feb 14, 2005.

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  1. gbranch

    gbranch Legend

    Mar 7, 2003
    Reading FCC 05-24 seems to indicate that SV only applies to stations that are available OTA.

    17. The Commission adopted the significantly viewed standard in 1972. The rules that set the standard also established the definition of “full network,” “partial network,” and “independent” station. The standard applies only to over the air viewing and only to commercial stations.

    Perhaps that I am reading this out of context, but, if this is so, how are cable companies able to provide OOM stations that are not available OTA in a community? Was there grandfathering for stations on a cable system prior to 1972?

    Example: Our local cable co. carries 2 Dallas affiliates (FOX and NBC). Dallas is 120 miles away and, under normal circumstances, these stations are never grade B anywhere in our county. Neither station is listed in the SV list for our county in FCC 05-24.

    Also, a nearby county has the Dallas CBS affiliate in the list, but they are about 150 miles away and there is no way the station is available OTA in this county without extraordinary measures.
  2. joblo

    joblo Godfather

    Dec 10, 2003
    The short answer is yes.

    I'm not sure it was 1972, but I do recall that once upon a time in the distant past, channel carriage used to be negotiated as part of a cable company's franchise agreement with the city or county. Must-carry, syndex, network non-dup, and other FCC regs effectively took that power away, but systems were allowed to continue carrying stations they had previously carried.

    Retrans Consent came later, sometime in the late 80s/early 90s, I think, but I don't really remember anymore.
  3. gbranch

    gbranch Legend

    Mar 7, 2003
    Thanks for your reply.

    OK, so I guess that the effect of all of this is that, just because a OOM station is on your local cable system, that does not mean that it is necessarily SV. The station has to be available OTA for it to be included in "the list"
  4. James Long

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

    Apr 17, 2003
    SV is a good way of a station FORCING its way on to a cable system. If the cable system agrees to carry the station without it being on the SV list there was no reason to get on the list. Now that satellite providers can use the list to expand their service and the station's reach we will probably see more stations trying to make the list in more communities.

    Satellite providers have been handicapped for years and not allowed to carry out of market stations unless the customer could get no other station of the same network at least Grade B. Opening the door to SV stations helps, but stations MUST be on the list to be carried on satellite outside their own market. Stations do not have to be on the list for carriage on cable - so there is still a handicap until the list catches up with what people watch.

    And yes, the way the law is written only OTA watching counts toward the survey. It would be nice 'people who WOULD watch OTA if they didn't have cable' can be added to this number. But that's not the letter of the law. :(

  5. swing

    swing Mentor

    Aug 12, 2004
    In these cases, the cable company pays a distant network copyright license royalty, similar to what satellite providers do when offering a DNS.

    If the station is significantly viewed, on the other hand,
    -the channel is treated like a local channel, no copyright fee. Only retransmission carriage fees (if requested by the broadcast station ) applies.
    -no syndicated exclusivity or network non duplication is enforceable. However, I've heard of agreements that cover entire DMAs (that result in a drop of carriage of a channel entirely outside its DMA)

    Take for example, the area straddled between D.C. and Baltimore. Baltimore stations can't ask Comcast cable co. to block out-black out any programming from the D.C. channels.

    Lancaster County PA also gets Philadelphia stations, though KYW(CBS) and WPSG (UPN) were dropped from the Harrisburg-Lancaster DMA cable systems on Clear Channel's WHP/WLYH request. Comcast Lancaster, however, added WWSI 62, Atlantic City Telemundo station b/c the market has no Telemundo.
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