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alebowgm said:
The real issue is that dish is no longer able to carry distant networks. Where you are located, Atlanta could have been your local at Chattanooga was a distant, but Dish can no longer offer such a service and they are therefore stuck just giving you your local station as-is.
In a nut shell ... yes and no. Those "close distants" are called significantly viewed stations. Unfortunately when congress wrote the law allowing significantly viewed out of market stations to be carried they added it to the law that allows distants instead of the law that allows local stations to be carried ... so when DISH lost their permission to carry distants they also lost their permission to carry significantly viewed stations.

We should also note that DISH actually carried significantly viewed stations. DirecTV passed. So all that work to get a SV law has gone to waste. :(

The real issue comparing cable with satellite is how stations and carriers "earn" their right to have the channels carried. It is an unequal system. The only equal part is that stations can choose to hold their signals for ransom, forcing carriers to pay for carriage, or choose must carry - giving up any chance for money just to reach the viewers. Beyond that, the scale is tipped in cable's favor.

Cable has to set aside a percentage of channels for OTA TV stations and meet this quota. Smaller systems don't have to carry every channel, they only have to carry enough channels to meet the quota. Satellite MUST offer carriage to ALL stations eligible in any market they carry locals, and must carry (with few exceptions) every channel that chooses the "must carry" option.

Cable carriage is based on the community. If a signal reaches a community it does not matter what market the station is in ... that signal is considered a local station and can even force carriage on systems outside their DMA. Satellite carriage is based on DMA and stations cannot be carried outside of their DMA (unless they meet the narrow rules for SV).

Every once in a while Congress talks about equalizing the playing field between cable and satellite ... generally they fail. If they really wanted an equal playing field the first thing that would change is losing the DMAs and coming up with a cable like system where the closest channel of a network and any channel that reaches a community CAN be carried via a satellite carrier.

Yes, DISH messing up with distants means they can't offer close out of market channels ... I'm still not sure why DirecTV never bothered introducing SVs. But it isn't the core of the problem ... the core of the problem is that cable can where satellite (even DirecTV) is forbidden. That's not fair.
 

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The forced carriage isn't just "reception in the community" (although lack of quality reception ... the inability for a station to deliver a good signal to the head end ... can keep a station off of a system). It has to do with whether the community commonly views that station. It is also currently based on NTSC reception.

If Youngstown can prove enough viewership in Cleveland they could get added. It would be unlikely since people are getting the same content from a local station (including cable/satellite HD).
 
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