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Hall Of Fame
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The Department of Justice is all but predicting the loss of local TV service for millions of satellite subscribers if the Supreme Court rules that a local-TV-carriage law is unconstitutional.

Under a 1999 law under attack by EchoStar Communications Corp., direct-broadcast satellite carriers are required to carry every station in markets where they carry any. Congress imposed this requirement if DBS firms wanted to distribute local TV stations without the permission of copyright holders.

In a Supreme Court brief filed May 13, solicitor general Theodore Olson argued that if the 'carry-one, carry-all' regime violated the First Amendment, the court would also be forced to invalidate the copyright license.

'[EchoStar and DirecTV Inc.] would thereby have lost the right to invoke any statutory license to carry broadcast programming without the copyright owners' authorization,' Olson said.

Without saying so directly, Olson painted a scenario under which the Supreme Court could hand the DBS industry a First Amendment victory but a copyright-law defeat that together would bar DBS carriers from providing local TV signals in any practical manner.

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Hall Of Fame
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i like the idea of must-carry, and Dish had plenty of time to get things going. I know we are suffering on PQ, but it seems as if Dish is slowly taking care of that problem.
 

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God Bless America!
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No locals means PQ about equal to LaserDisc in an ideal world, possibly even nearing DVD quality after the merger:) That's what I want!
 

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That may be what you want Mark, but like I've said in other posts - no locals, no DBS. LIL has to be one of the main selling points to attract subscribers. Those who want DBS for the other stations and the novelty of it alreay subscribe, so the only way to really build the base of subs is to add LIL. It might decrease picture quality, but LIL keeps the two companies in business.
 

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We'll just have to agree to disagree on this one, Mark.

DBS was fine before LIL, but their potential for growth beyond the rural areas, had to include LIL. Their growth curve would have topped out much sooner. I never considered DBS until locals were offered in my area, and my neighbors are the same. The explosive growth of DBS happened after the addition of LILs. Look to see a large jump in subs with D* adding ten new LIL cities. Jane Housewife will never agree to let her husband spend hundreds of dollars on new DBS equipment if her favorite shows can't be seen. Most city dwellers won't go from cable to DBS unless locals are included.

Just my $.02 worth. D* is scoring a coup adding nine cities before E* and one within sixty days of E*.

Image Joe and Jane sitting on the couch in Las Vegas comparing DBS companies. I'm guessing that until E* adds Las Vegas locals, most DBS business in the city will go to D*. That is at least $40 per household that D* will gain in revenue that they didn't have before and $40 per household in revenue that E* won't be receiving.

At Directv's current rate of 10% of American households, and there are 400,000 households in Las Vegas (plus thousands of hotel rooms), that is $1,600,000 per month in revenue from Las Vegas households. I'm guessing that before LIL in Las Vegas, the percentage of households was as low as 5%. That would be increase in revenue for D* of $800,000 per month by adding LIL to the city.

These figures are only hypothetical, but it shows an example of the increase in revenue by adding LIL.
 

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God Bless America!
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See personally, I don't care how much money my TV provider makes or how many subs they have. I just want lots of channels, with a good picture, at a good price. Bresnan Communications (just bought the local AT&T cable) is doing a cable rebuild, and it might be worth looking at when completed this fall. I at least might get cable internet as it's supposed to be both cheaper AND faster than DSL.
 

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Originally posted by Mark
See personally, I don't care how much money my TV provider makes or how many subs they have. I just want lots of channels, with a good picture, at a good price.
While you an I may not CARE how much money they make, their ability to make money is what motivates them to provide the service. If they're not making money, they'll eventually go out of business.

E* and D* need to add to their subscriber base if they want to eventually become profitable. The alternative is to charge current customers much more. LIL isn't an issue for those who cant receive those channels by other means - they at least have the ability to receive a distant network via satellite (for now, anyway). LIL really IS the issue for people who can get locals via cable or OTA. Most (like me) want that seamless program guide.
 

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Godfather/Supporter
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I can usually see both sides to an issue even if I feel strongly one way. Not this time.
You will see a mass exedous of many if they cannot get the networks with DBS, and there would be very llittle growth after that. I truly believe it would make DBS a second choice at best to cable. With few exceptions like some HBO programs, what is it that people are talking about the next day around the water cooler? Network programs. And although I don't know why (I am a Fox News fan) most people still get their TV news from the networks. Also remember, for many of us we cannot get a good signal from our locations by antenna, so carriage becomes even more important.
 

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But if the courts overturned must carry, DBS won't drop all locals. What will happen is that all the cheesy shopping stations, religious and other lesser viewed locals won't appear on satellite. But the stations in each market that people actually watch will remain.
 

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Image Joe and Jane sitting on the couch in Las Vegas comparing DBS companies. I'm guessing that until E* adds Las Vegas locals, most DBS business in the city will go to D*. That is at least $40 per household that D* will gain in revenue that they didn't have before and $40 per household in revenue that E* won't be receiving.
And that is exactly what has happened here. I am in the West Palm Beach DMA. D* added WPB to their local channel provisions a while back, while Dish still doesn't have them. D* is currently KILLING Dish in this area. I can count on one hand the number of Dish systems I have installed this year. When one has locals and the other doesn't the one without them might as well fold up the tent and go home.
 
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Lee,

If the Supreme Court finds that the Satellite Home Viewers Improvement Act (SHVIA) is unconstitutional because of the must-carry statutes, then whole sections of the SHVIA are thrown out.

The copyright exemption to rebroadcast local stations is only granted if all local stations are broadcast. If the Supremes find that "must-carry" is an unconstitutional part of the SHVIA, the copyright exemption is also invalid. The courts would be invalidating a section of copyright law, not just the "must-carry" subsection.

And therefore, DBS would be required to drop all locals, if the court finds that must-carry is unconstitutional. That is because the end of must-carry is also the end of the copyright exemption.
 
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