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· Hall Of Fame
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Would Dish and Directv after merger still charge for locals since they would have them for everyone after the merger even though cable dont charge for it individually or raise the price for the basic packages because they are included? Would it not go up by 5.99 since all subscribers would be receiving them making the cost less? Would this be one thing that the government would make Dish do, provide everyone with locals without an additional cost making it part of the basic package just as cable does?
 

· Legend
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DirecTV already requires a basic package for local channels. Dish doesnt but will put a $5 Access Fee if you dont get a basic packages. I have no idea what policy will go forward for DirecTV by New Echostar if merger is approved.
 

· DBSTalk E* Spot Beam Guru
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It will probably start looking just like cable where you have to subscribe to the package that contains your locals first before you start adding anything else.
 

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Originally posted by Jacob S
cable dont charge for it individually or raise the price for the basic packages because they are included?
1st of all, cable actually charges a lot more for locals and makes a considerable profit on them. It may not seem to you that they charge more for a "basic" package since they are included but that is simply because they have always bundled them that way.

Before deregulation cable had to offer a "lifeline" service of locals. Now they are not required to by law but some still do. They never advertise, promote, or volunteer it but if you insist they will let you have it rather than lose you as a cust since they still make money on it.

In my area, Cox calls it "Limited Basic" and sells it for $14.95/mo.

Keep in mind that cable does not pay the high retransmission fees that DBS does nor do they have to uplink them to expensive satellites with limited capacity.

DBS loses money uplinking locals but they started doing it in major markets to attrack subscribers. They hoped to be exempted from "must carry" restrictions and probably wouldn't have put up networks in so many areas if they knew for a fact they would be stuck with must carry.

There is no reason to believe they will bundle locals with a basic package with or without the merger. The simple fact is that many DBS subscribers (like me) can get locals off air and, for the foreseeable future, there still will be some areas where locals will not be available.
 

· Hall Of Fame
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I don't need locals, either. They are offered, here. I prefer to decline, since I'm getting better OTA than either cable or dbs. It's the matter of getting and setting up the right antenna. I like "Buy Once" and never pay again. And, eventually, how are cable and dbs going to deal with HDTV? Porentially, because of the requirement for lots of bandwidth, local HDTV will likely remain OTA for a long time. Dbs will have an advantage, then, especially, when locals abandon NTSC programming. The dbs providers can convert the local HDTV signal to NTSC, so the old set owners without HDTV sets can still get locals without buying a converter box. The same would happen with cable. NOT EVERYONE WILL FORK OUT $50-$100 to buy a converter box for their old set just to get locals. By that time, the NAB might be begging or even paying dbs to carry the signal to deliver to dbs subscribers. HDTV will not be for the masses for a long time.
 

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If the merger is approved and if all 210 DMA’s go on the satellite I believe that the advertised packages will include the locals in their advertised price, however packages without the locals will still be available for a discounted price, they just will not be advertised. I think it will be similar to how D* does it now, TC+ with locals $39.99 or $35.99 without for example, the only difference will be that a potential sub will have to specifically request the package without locals, these packages will no longer be advertised.
 

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I pay $9.95 for AT&T Basic cable. I get all the locals I get via Dish plus Discovery, Hallmark, 3 shopping channels, 3 local access and the NASA channel. Not bad for the price.

I hate their picture though, it totally sucks. Nothing but grain.
 

· God Bless America!
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I assume so, as some people would rather get the money than bad locals we can get better with an antenna. That said, if they ever offer the Missoula DMA, there might be some good things about satellite locals. Mainly I just think satellite locals must die.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I know that some believe that they will package locals seperate from the basic package just because some can get it on an outdoor antenna but people that are on cable can pick up locals on an outdoor antenna as well, so there is no difference from cable than satellite and the majority of cable customers take the locals with the other channels because its the other way around, instead of having to take a basic package to get the locals like you do on directv, you have to get the locals to get the other basic channels on cable, to my knowledge. Satellite wants to be more like cable and this would get them there even closer.
 

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Originally posted by Jacob S
I know that some believe that they will package locals seperate from the basic package just because some can get it on an outdoor antenna but people that are on cable can pick up locals on an outdoor antenna as well, so there is no difference from cable than satellite and the majority of cable customers take the locals with the other channels because its the other way around, instead of having to take a basic package to get the locals like you do on directv, you have to get the locals to get the other basic channels on cable, to my knowledge. Satellite wants to be more like cable and this would get them there even closer.
I never liked paying for programming that I could get for free. If cable offered packages without locals, then I might even consider thinking of subscribing to them. The only way I would subscribe to cable, is if I lived in an apartment and cannot set up dbs or local antenna reception is awful/
 

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Originally posted by Mark
I assume so, as some people would rather get the money than bad locals we can get better with an antenna. That said, if they ever offer the Missoula DMA, there might be some good things about satellite locals. Mainly I just think satellite locals must die.
If that happens, DBS will die. Sattelite really took off after locals started being offered. Most users want ease of use and seamless integration. I am happy to pay $4 per month for my locals so they show up in the guide and are able to be recorded on my PVR.
 

· Godfather
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I'm paying $6/month for locals from DirecTV.
I agree. "seamless integration" is what it's all about - and recording to my DirecTiVo.

Originally posted by karl_f


If that happens, DBS will die. Sattelite really took off after locals started being offered. Most users want ease of use and seamless integration. I am happy to pay $4 per month for my locals so they show up in the guide and are able to be recorded on my PVR.
 

· Godfather/Supporter
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EricG and Karl_f above have it exactly right. While probably a greater margin of people who go to the forums sites would put up an antenna or be willing to switch back and forth, most people want seemless tv watching. In an earlier post here, I did a quick survey of my neighbors and/or friends who have Dish or DTV and most said it was important that they carry the local channels. In our case there is an additional and important reason. Unlike everyone who is posting, we DO NOT receive our locals very well with an antenna in our area. And that then is a strength of Dish and DTV for us. Go about ten miles east of us and many cannot even get cable yet- another strength of DBS and another reason to carry locals. To me, not carrying locals would make DBS seem like a second choice system. And while Dish and DTV are not happy about must-carry, it may actually help them get subscribers in the long run.
Finally, if you look back at my posts here you will see one where I talk about a newer model being discussed where in place of there being so many "local" network channels across the country, there could become "regional" channels instead, where, say, one "NBC" channel would cover the area that two or three did before. "Local news would become "regional" news, etc... Well I read an article last week where there are at least two different areas considering this as some local channels are having hard economic times. I tried to find it again so I could link to it, but so far cannot find that article at this time. I bring this up because if that did start to happen, it would be less channels DBS would have to carry.
 

· Legend
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I get few Allentown and Atlantic City stations via mustcarry that I cant get clear. These cities are in two different directions from Philly. Granted there is not much programming I watch from them. Allentown PBS is like a national PBS with Lehigh related shows Tempo!, WFMZ has Allentown Reading Poconos NorthWest Jersey News, WWAC is South Jersey related independent, WWSI is Telemundo, not in Total Choice. There is WMGM that has South East Shore news, but they are not carried. WBPH is not carried-- they are commercial religious channel, and so is WTVE.

I already get Philly stations OTA and very clear. These are stations that transmit from Roxborough PA and Waterford Works NJ. That includes CBS 3, ABC 6, NBC 10, PBS 12, WB 17, NJN 23, FOX 29, WYBE (Ind.), WGTW (Ind.), UPN 57, and UNI 65.

NJN 23 and UNI 65 transmit at Waterford, however Univision has decided they want their digital WUVP to be with the Philly stations. There is also PAX 61 (WPPX) that transmits from the Salem-Gloucester borderline, they are partially run by Ch.10. WWSI is owned by Council Tree Communications, not Telemundo owned, so Ch.10 NBC owned, wont get their hands also on WWSI because of the NBC takeover of Telemundo.

I do like the seamless integration for EPG and DirecTV with TiVo.

I bet that a basic Total Choice package will be required. Otherwise, lot of people would just use DirecTV for local channels, and DirecTV would loses money this way and the only ones making money this way are the broadcasters. Already, some stations (mostly UHF) decide not to increase their antenna tower and power, because they could use that money to run fiber to DirecTV and Comcast. They figure 90% of homes already have Pay TV, they'd rather spend the money towards running fiber optic lines to cable headends and satellite receive facilities. Fine, but DirecTV is saying if customers want locals, they have to take Total Choice.

Whether they'll force us to take locals too, they probably will. Because they plan to carry all 210 markets, they lose money if people dont sign up for locals. Plus, there are retransmission agreements with the networks. DirecTV would want to have leverage with some broadcasters like Emmis, and if few people are taking locals, then DirecTV loses leverage.
 

· Arcane Movie Trivia King
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just ask youself this question: if you were getting 6 bucks from (what)20 million people each month, would you stop doing it out of the goodness of your heart?
 

· Hall Of Fame
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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
No, you dont do it out of the goodness of your heart, you do it to compete against cable. When satellite gets all 210 dma locals and charge extra for locals, then this is going to give dbs TWO black eyes, they will HAVE to package it into their basic packages to not give a bad image and then give a discount if they wanted the channels taken back out BUT then the customers will ask for other channels to be taken out and then when told they wont be able to this will cause lots of anger as well. Either way satellite is going to look bad. Maybe then if satellite does give a discount for not offering locals that it would at least make cable look bad. I guess this could go either way and nobody wins OR nobody loses, just depends on how u look at it - because it could go either way.
 

· Arcane Movie Trivia King
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well, it just might-but don't look for the mirror fee to disappear anytime soon, ESP if the merger does go thru and ESP if no other competition arises(such as SES, northpoint, or an independant pegasus)...
 

· Hall Of Fame
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I think an independent Pegasus would help the merger get approved. I could be wrong though. I think that if the merger is approved and they get New Echostar 1, they WILL add all 210 DMA's and hopefully the new company will have DirecTV's sense of motivation when it comes to adding new basic channels. I think that, long term of course, they should also try to get low power and class A stations available as well. I know it costs money, but it would be a GREAT way to increase competition and think about it. Satellite could actually say that they carry MORE of your locals than cable does.
 

· Arcane Movie Trivia King
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charlie's buying DTV, not the other way around-whatever sense of motivation DTV has now will be shown the door...
 

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Cable has to carry Class A TV stations (in theory, at least), and I think this ought to be extended to DBS must-carry as well, at some point. Perhaps a phased roll out schedule.

However, I don't really think that plain old LPTVs are that desirable for carriage by DBS. Most LPTVs which have programming of interest (IMO) either repeat something already available on DBS (such as Angel One, 3ABN, ACN, SAH, etc.) or have upgraded to Class A (local weather / news oriented stations). The only Class A's that DBS probably wouldn't want to carry are MTV2. And I can't believe that those wouldn't eventually get covered by some kind of agreement with Viacom. As long as DBS has the main MTV2, I can't believe Viacom would push for all the local/regional ones.

Thinking about it, something the FCC or Congress ought to do to accelerate the DTV transition is provide a compulsory license that allows DBS to retransmit national HD versions of major networks into any home that doesn't receive an acceptable signal from an HD local affiliate. For example, this would allow any household that doesn't have a local CBS-HD to get either WCBS-DT/KCBS-DT.
 
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