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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I live in the Detroit Designated Marketing Area -- and am part of the 10th largest county in the U.S. (Wayne) -- and I notice something: A lot of people in Monroe County get locals from their cable company from both Detroit and Toledo (Monroe County borders Michigan and Ohio). So, I was wondering, how can cable bring subscribers from parts of Monroe County -- in Michigan -- locals from Toledo, Ohio, as well as Detroit, Michigan, while DirecTV and Dish Network pretty much indicate that those residing in Monroe County are part of the Detroit DMA?

I'm curious, because cable providers seem to have an upper hand over satellite. (By the way, for those who'd like to respond -- please, keep in mind that I'm aware Toledo isn't served yet on DBS. I'm simply pointing out what seems a double standard, and wonder whether anyone has an answer.)
 
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Usually on the borders of markets, the cable systems will carry both market stations. Usually both market stations come in pretty good on the border area via an antenna, and are significantly viewed in the communities.

When they are significantly viewed, the station group can elect mustcarry on that cable system even if its a different DMA. The cable system cannot drop a station that is significantly viewed that requested mustcarry.

For example,

Cecil County, MD is halfway between Baltimore & Philadelphia, but Baltimore DMA. However cable system carries nets from both cities.

Mercer County, NJ is halfway between NY & Philadelphia, but Philly DMA. However cable system carries nets from both cities.

Chester County, PA is halfway between Philadelphia County and Lancaster County so Comcast carries NBC 10 (NBC O&O) from Philly and WGAL 8 (Hearst) from the Harrisburg - Lebanon - Lancaster - York DMA.

Kent County, DE is in between Salisbury, MD and Philadelphia/Wilmington, DE but in Philly DMA. They get all the major stations from the Philly DMA, and WMDT 47 and WBOC 16 Salisbury are carried as "significantly viewed"

Northampton and Lehigh County, PA are in Philadelphia DMA but are not too far from Wilkes-Barre/Scranton. The stations from those markets come in OK in those counties, and are thus significantly viewed.

It may be an advantage,

however most subscribers live in the city or nearby the city, which is usually not near another city or DMA.

In Washington DMA, most of the viewers are within Fairfax County, VA, Washington DC, Montgomery & Prince Georges Co. They make up the majority of the market and practically no Baltimore locals are carried on these cable systems.

Majority of residents in Philadelphia DMA live near Philadelphia.
In these counties, NY channels arent carried, nor or Lancaster or any other market.

The amount of potential subscribers on the borders of markets isnt so much that cable has advantage. On in these communities,

If a merger were to occur, I'd think significantly viewed would really need to be considered. I'd be for it, if all local channels were carried and significantly viewed was applied. I'm only afraid a DBS merger will bring a company in debt that has to compete with cable, and only way is to reach cable's rates and more.
 
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One forgotten advantage is the sports advantage over DBS.

In

Comcast Trenton, Cablevision Hamilton and RCN Princeton, and the cable systems of Ocean County (NYC DMA) that carry Philly channels have the advantage they offer sports from both markets. Forget about the cable networks, I mean the broadcast stations that offer NFL from the networks and the games on the other stations.. UPN 57 games, Mets games etc.

Similar with Baltimore & Washington, Sacramento & San Francisco.

However the trick for Most people can easily "move" to the bigger market. However, this requires the hassle of going through an addressbroker and finding an address.

The smaller market usually has cheasy newscasts and no sports offering. Getting a Lancaster or Harrisburg station wouldnt do much for most in Philly DMA in the PA part. I get WFMZ 69 Allentown, they are part of Philly DMA, but their newscast is like watching a small DMA newscast. It doesnt cost much to create a newscast, and many small DMAs have them.

However this is really the only benefit of getting 2 Network stations after sports. Some station groups dont air certain shows. WJLA 7 stopped airing "Politically Incorrect", however most shows network & syndicated can be found on the local stations (NBC, ABC, CBS, FOX, UPN, WB)
 
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According to the 2000 Census,
only 145,945 people are in Monroe County (that carries both Toledo & Detroit channels).

http://quickfacts.census.gov/qfd/states/26/26115.html

Wayne County (home of Detroit) has 2,061,162 people.
Wayne County has more TV HH than Monroe County(about 2 or 3 people per TV HH most likely), that the diminished audience the Detroit stations might face isnt as significant as it may seem.

http://quickfacts.census.gov/qfd/states/26/26163.html

Stick with Detroit locals. Other than local Toledo news what do the Toledo stations offer?

I see why people may want NY & Philadelphia, Baltimore & Philadelphia, Washington & Baltimore, San Francisco & Sacramento, Chicago & Milwaukee, etc. but what does a small DMA (sub 60 market) have to offer, if you can already get the bigger market stations and are part of that DMA and those stations already provide local news to your area.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Brett R,

Thanks for the information. I was asking out of curiosity. Before my family subscribed to cable in 1980 (the firsts on our street!), our roof antenna picked up both Detroit and Toledo stations. Usually those antennas were good for, say, 100 miles. Toledo is about 50 miles south of me.

Detroit and Toledo markets don't really compare, so I'm not trying to choose (where I work there are numerous people living in Toledo, or in Lenawee County, in Michigan, which is considered a Toledo DMA; though its cable provider -- the county seat is Adrian, Michigan -- picks up locals from Toledo, Detroit, and Lansing to a degree as you have suggested).

It will be interesting, if this merge were to happen, how Dish/DirecTV (whatever I should call the company if it happens) would deal with areas that border two DMAs. (I wouldn't qualify -- I live reasonably close to the Motor City.)
 
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DS0816 writes:
So, I was wondering, how can cable bring subscribers from parts of Monroe County -- in Michigan -- locals from Toledo, Ohio, as well as Detroit, Michigan, while DirecTV and Dish Network pretty much indicate that those residing in Monroe County are part of the Detroit DMA?

I'm curious, because cable providers seem to have an upper hand over satellite. (By the way, for those who'd like to respond -- please, keep in mind that I'm aware Toledo isn't served yet on DBS. I'm simply pointing out what seems a double standard, and wonder whether anyone has an answer.)
Ah, but you've nailed it on the head. There is a double standard because there are differences on how each of the delivery systems evolved.

Cable originally provided a common antenna, so it was originally designed to provide local channels that one can receive in any given area. Later, some people figured out, as an added bonus, that giving people access to other programming unavailable over locals, and adding them cable systems, would give cable an added advantange. Hence, HBO, ESPN, and MTV were born within ten years.

DBS satellite was originally conceived to provide an outlet for national premium channels, it was never designed to deliver locals.

The reality is that if Detroit wasn't offered on DBS, people in the Detroit DMA couldn't receive their locals. The other reality is that the cable companies are required to carry locals, while the DBS companies are not. There is your double standard.
 
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