Most of the posters in the "other" forum have, I beleive, missed the big point to this. It isn't what exists now - it's about what will possibly exist in the future - especially if the merger is completed. There are stations out there (Fox 11 in LA and the CBS affiliate in Dallas that I know of - I'm sure more) who are very interested in having their newscasts available nationwide to anyone who wants it. In addition, there is a model that has been worked on that allows for the reception of out of market stations at a cost to the consumer. Probably offered in some kind of package, that revenue would be partially distrubuted back to the local station in consideration of lost advertising revenues.
I say especially if the merger happens because up until now, cable really wasn't interested in or in many cases have the channels available to be able to do this. Dish and Direct separately did not have the capacity especially with must carry. But merged, they could participate in this. In addition, there are some who beleive multiple local stations in many markets will start to fade and regional stations will take their place, using relay antennas for over the air reception.
All this of course is only on paper and many new ideas are sure to emerge, but it shows that what is current very possibly will not be what exists in the near future. Those providers who are ready for these changes will profit.
Finally, I know there has been a debate whether locals should even be on satellite, but it seems to me the correct decision was made by Dish and Direct to carry them. I don't need to go any further than three of my four close neighbors in Connecticut who would love to switch to Satellite, but not until the local stations are available. Using an antenna is not a viable option for two of the networks, and Charter Cable charges $15.99 as the lowest tier of charges.