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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I wrote my local ABC station (WLS Chicago) to see if they were aware that due to Dish's injunction that their station which had been popular among viewers in the Terre Haute, IN DMA and Lafayette, IN DMA (where there is no local ABC affiliate) was no longer an option for those viewers. Not only can these viewers not get WLS-TV, they cannot get ABC at all (unless they happen to qualify under NPS but who knows).

The station said they were aware of this and had received this memo from the programming department:
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Apparently, for some time now, the DISH Network folks (Echostar) have been supplying WLS/ABC 7 Chicago to DISH subscribers who live outside of the Chicagoland area (most likely to subscribers in the border states of Indiana, Wisconsin, Iowa and Michigan; viewers for whom WLS is NOT their local ABC station.)

This occurred without the knowledge of WLS and is a violation of copyright by the DISH Network. (Subscribers are, in the main, entitled to receive only their local ABC station.) Effective December 1, 2006, a court order comes into effect prohibiting DISH from continuing this practice.

Some subscribers may call the station questioning the cessation of the WLS signal. Again, this was a violation by DISH who had been supplying WLS illegally and without our knowledge. The decision to halt supply of this signal is a result of a court order and NOT a station mandate. Subscribers should contact their local DISH office in this regard, or visit our website at www.ABC7chicago.com for details regarding other broadcast viewing options.
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The point I was trying to make was that these IL and IN counties had lost ABC and wouldn't be able to watch their network any longer. As an ABC O&O, I was hoping WLS would pass this on to the network execs making them aware of this so they would realize there were viewers out there no longer getting ABC.

From the memo, it seems like WLS didn't even know their station was a distant option on Dish Network. Many viewers that were receiving WLS via satellite were ones that did legitimately qualify for it. However, they act like anyone receiving it outside of Chicagoland for any reason is a violation by Dish.
 

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There is a failure to understand on both sides of this issue.

Prior to Dec 2004 it was perfectly legal to provide WLS to anyone in the country outside of the Grade B coverage of all local ABCs. After Dec 2004 it was perfectly legal to provide WLS to anyone in the country outside of the Grade B coverage of all local ABCs and not in a market with an ABC local carried by that satellite provider. Not to mention it being perfectly legal to provide WLS to anyone who could get waivers from their local ABC stations.

WLS has absolutely no control over how their signal is transmitted as a distant. No permission is required for a satellite company to choose to reboadcast WLS or any other station's signal outside of it's own market as a distant. All the satellite company has to do is follow the law.

For WLS to call carriage that fell under 17 USC 119 illegal shows a total lack of understanding.
 

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Nahh. No reason to bury every post in that thread.
 

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Link - asside from the fact that WLS is NOT your local ABC station, but Chicago's local ABC station, wouldn't have made more sense to write the ABC network directly??? :confused: As their response to you indicates, they could care LESS about you viewing their Chicago station; you guys are not even a tiny blip on their radar.
 

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Really I think that the letters of complaint should be going to the network. The local station is going to have little ability to do anything other than spout a NAB party line. If the nets start getting a large number of I can't get your net at all they might start thinking about how they are losing viewers. Dishrich we musta been writing at the same time.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
dishrich said:
Link - asside from the fact that WLS is NOT your local ABC station, but Chicago's local ABC station, wouldn't have made more sense to write the ABC network directly??? :confused: As their response to you indicates, they could care LESS about you viewing their Chicago station; you guys are not even a tiny blip on their radar.
Well WLS is owned by ABC and they always respond to my emails so I thought that was a way to communicate to them on this issue. I figured an email to the network directly would get no reply or even read for that matter.

My reason for it was to point out that many people were without ABC network programming regardless of whether they got WLS or another station but all they care about is people vieweing ABC 7 outside of Chicago.

Why is WLS NOT my local ABC station since I now live in Aurora? Post made regarding the Terre Haute DMA refer to my family and friends where I used to live. Terre Haute has got to be one of the absolute worst DMAs to be in for TV stations!
 

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Link said:
Why is WLS NOT my local ABC station since I now live in Aurora? Post made regarding the Terre Haute DMA refer to my family and friends where I used to live.
Well, I obviously didn't know all that, sorry. (hint: your profile saying you're in the "midwest" doesn't exactly explain this :D :p ) You understand my point though - it is NOT your "family & friends local ABC station" - it is ONLY local to YOU. WLS is an ABC station they happen to watch because that is what they choose to get via DNS. (as opposed to NY, Denver, or LA) WLS does NOT give a rat's hieny about your F&F watching them - period!

Terre Haute has got to be one of the absolute worst DMAs to be in for TV stations!
Totally agree - if I was your F&F, I'd be "moving" to another market (Indy perhaps) or switch to D*, instead of dickin' around trying to get the NPS/DNS cluster-f#$%. (assuming that D* would qualify them for a DNS ABC, which is NOT always a safe bet - they might possibly be in the grade B for WICD-Champaign, which then they will STILL be SOL for ABC through DBS) It's probably actually worse than MY market, which is definately NOT anything to write home about. (but we do at least have all the nets, including 2 PBS's :) ) Unfortunately, we are STILL waiting on our CBS-Nexstar cartel to grace our market with ANY kind of HD signal anyway, which probably WON'T reach me off air, unless I choose to get it through cable. :rolleyes: No matter though - D* has taken care of that for me... ;) :D
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
dishrich said:
Well, I obviously didn't know all that, sorry. (hint: your profile saying you're in the "midwest" doesn't exactly explain this :D :p ) You understand my point though - it is NOT your "family & friends local ABC station" - it is ONLY local to YOU. WLS is an ABC station they happen to watch because that is what they choose to get via DNS. (as opposed to NY, Denver, or LA) WLS does NOT give a rat's hieny about your F&F watching them - period!

Totally agree - if I was your F&F, I'd be "moving" to another market (Indy perhaps) or switch to D*, instead of dickin' around trying to get the NPS/DNS cluster-f#$%. (assuming that D* would qualify them for a DNS ABC, which is NOT always a safe bet - they might possibly be in the grade B for WICD-Champaign, which then they will STILL be SOL for ABC through DBS) It's probably actually worse than MY market, which is definately NOT anything to write home about. (but we do at least have all the nets, including 2 PBS's :) ) Unfortunately, we are STILL waiting on our CBS-Nexstar cartel to grace our market with ANY kind of HD signal anyway, which probably WON'T reach me off air, unless I choose to get it through cable. :rolleyes: No matter though - D* has taken care of that for me... ;) :D
Yeah I see what your point is. My parents do get WICD on cable but they almost lost it Dec. 1st because of some Mediacom/Sinclair dispute. They not have it at least until January 5th I think if they can resolve the dispute.

Some friends of mine in Terre Haute used their Indy work address to get Indianapolis locals because they couldn't pull in the Terre Haute stations with rabbit ears living in Terre Haute. This whole DNS stuff sucks. I have had actually had friends calling me asking what to do and why their ABC has disappeared.

Are you serious that WCIA doesn't have an HD signal yet? At least my parents do get WTHI-HD over the air and have for about a year now. The other two market stations are Nexstar and they aren't in HD yet either and won't be until 2008 I think.
 

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Link said:
My parents do get WICD on cable but they almost lost it Dec. 1st because of some Mediacom/Sinclair dispute. They not have it at least until January 5th I think if they can resolve the dispute.
Yea same here w/WICS - I got SO sick & tired of see their stupid ticker on the bottom of the screen EVERY 1/4 hour warning viewers to call Medicacom & switch to D*. Thankfully, I have MULTIPLE options for networks, so I didn't have to put it with it! :D Sinclair did grant Mediacom an extension as you said, so we'll probably have to hear it again.

Are you serious that WCIA doesn't have an HD signal yet?
Yup, as a heart attack! And, now with the major ice & snow storm we are STILL digging out from over here, I don't expect them to now get it up until spring at best. :rolleyes: If you go to http://www.wcia.com/highdef.asp you can see all the wonderful progress they ARE making...

The other two market stations are Nexstar and they aren't in HD yet either and won't be until 2008 I think.
They'll probably be waiting longer than THAT - Nexstar is so poor, you know & just can't afford to spend all that money. (at least that's what THEY are saying)
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
dishrich said:
Yea same here w/WICS - I got SO sick & tired of see their stupid ticker on the bottom of the screen EVERY 1/4 hour warning viewers to call Medicacom & switch to D*. Thankfully, I have MULTIPLE options for networks, so I didn't have to put it with it! :D Sinclair did grant Mediacom an extension as you said, so we'll probably have to hear it again.

Yup, as a heart attack! And, now with the major ice & snow storm we are STILL digging out from over here, I don't expect them to now get it up until spring at best. :rolleyes: If you go to http://www.wcia.com/highdef.asp you can see all the wonderful progress they ARE making...

They'll probably be waiting longer than THAT - Nexstar is so poor, you know & just can't afford to spend all that money. (at least that's what THEY are saying)
WTWO doesn't even have stereo sound!!! That is unheard of today for a broadcast station. I don't know why but a lot of people have trouble getting 2 even with an outside antenna. Awhile back when I was home a friend and I had on the news on WTHI and I couldn't believe how cheesy it was. It was like they were reading the stories straight out of a newspaper. They'd read the headline and then start the story. It was pathetic and I emailed them and told them so!!

Are WAND, WRSP, and WICS in HD?
 

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Link said:
Awhile back when I was home a friend and I had on the news on WTHI and I couldn't believe how cheesy it was. It was like they were reading the stories straight out of a newspaper. They'd read the headline and then start the story. It was pathetic and I emailed them and told them so!!
Yea, am I'm sure your letter ended up in file 13 - why WOULD they care; they OWN you, at least as far as getting that network's programming.

Are WAND, WRSP, and WICS in HD?
Not only are ALL 3 of them in HD, but so is WBUI (CW), WILL & WSEC, both of which are PBS. On top of that, WICS (& WICD) offer The Tube as a subchannel, while both PBS's offer PBS Create on their subchannels. AND, as if that wasn't enough, Insight cable all over Springfield, Decatur & Champaign offer ALL of these locals in HD, as well as ALL of the current subchannels of these stations. (including the dopplar radar on WAND) We even all now get WEIU-51 out of Charleston, which was just added in Springfield on digital. (just SD though) Truthfully, with all of these additions, getting DBS for HD prog is just NOT that much of a sure thing anymore in my market anymore.

The ONLY locals NOT up in HD are WCIA & it's sister WCFN-MYTV. Nexstar says they are going to get IT up as well, but I'm not holding my breath. Insight says they already have the retrans agreement in place to add WCIA-DT the day their HD signal goes live - we'll see about that. :confused:
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
dishrich said:
Yea, am I'm sure your letter ended up in file 13 - why WOULD they care; they OWN you, at least as far as getting that network's programming.

Not only are ALL 3 of them in HD, but so is WBUI (CW), WILL & WSEC, both of which are PBS. On top of that, WICS (& WICD) offer The Tube as a subchannel, while both PBS's offer PBS Create on their subchannels. AND, as if that wasn't enough, Insight cable all over Springfield, Decatur & Champaign offer ALL of these locals in HD, as well as ALL of the current subchannels of these stations. (including the dopplar radar on WAND) We even all now get WEIU-51 out of Charleston, which was just added in Springfield on digital. (just SD though) Truthfully, with all of these additions, getting DBS for HD prog is just NOT that much of a sure thing anymore in my market anymore.

The ONLY locals NOT up in HD are WCIA & it's sister WCFN-MYTV. Nexstar says they are going to get IT up as well, but I'm not holding my breath. Insight says they already have the retrans agreement in place to add WCIA-DT the day their HD signal goes live - we'll see about that. :confused:
That is unbelievable. I would have thought WCIA would have been the first station in the market to go HD. I'd say their VHF SD signal isn't of as much value anymore in the market.

But cable definitely offers an HD advantage. Comcast here offers all the locals in HD and some subchannels too. It'd be good to have but I like my E* DVRs too much to switch to cable. I don't care for their DVR boxes as well.
 

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A little off. Provision of distant signals to unserved is ok. However, a waiver implies a served customer and in that instance would be prohibited unless the station in question gave permission. It would be pretty silly to require the permission of the local affiliate but not the actual broadcasting station.

James Long said:
There is a failure to understand on both sides of this issue.

Prior to Dec 2004 it was perfectly legal to provide WLS to anyone in the country outside of the Grade B coverage of all local ABCs. After Dec 2004 it was perfectly legal to provide WLS to anyone in the country outside of the Grade B coverage of all local ABCs and not in a market with an ABC local carried by that satellite provider. Not to mention it being perfectly legal to provide WLS to anyone who could get waivers from their local ABC stations.

WLS has absolutely no control over how their signal is transmitted as a distant. No permission is required for a satellite company to choose to reboadcast WLS or any other station's signal outside of it's own market as a distant. All the satellite company has to do is follow the law.

For WLS to call carriage that fell under 17 USC 119 illegal shows a total lack of understanding.
 

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BobS said:
A little off. Provision of distant signals to unserved is ok. However, a waiver implies a served customer and in that instance would be prohibited unless the station in question gave permission. It would be pretty silly to require the permission of the local affiliate but not the actual broadcasting station.
Silly or not it is TRUE, Bob. One gets the waiver from the local station(s) who have the right to serve you, no permission at all is needed from the distant station that one gets to see. :)
 

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Link said:
I'd say their VHF SD signal isn't of as much value anymore in the market.
Why do you say this? Contrary to all the "HD geeks" out there, SD is NOT dead by any means, at least not now. WCIA gets carriage of their SD signal on both D* & E*, as well as on ALL cable systems in our DMA.

But the REALLY pathetic thing is, WCIA is the ONLY station in our DMA that is NOT capable of anywhere covering the entire DMA with a grade B signal. Everything west of & including Springfield is considered "white area" for WCIA, which is why they USED to use WCFN in Spfld as their translator for WCIA. That all came to a screeching halt back in April '04, when they changed it to a totally separate UPN (now MYTV) station. They then put up their digital transmitters (abet at lower power) for both WCIA AND WCFN & carry BOTH stations in SD only on BOTH DT's. This is how the cable systems all over the DMA now are picking up BOTH UPN & CBS in the entire DMA. Which this means is - unless you have a VERY big & tall TV antenna in Springfield to pull in WCIA directly, or have a digital TV that can up in the OTA digital WCFN, you CANNOT get CBS in Springfield, unless you have cable or DBS now. It's not really that big of shock, as WCIA has ALWAYS screwed over the Spfld portion of our market - CBS actually gave their blessing to the whole mess, as they wanted to get UPN in our market as well. :rolleyes:

So, WCIA is actually getting by with only needing to cover a portion of their viewing area, but thanks to DBS & cable penetration, they get FULL coverage of BOTH of their CBS & MYTV affiliates across our entire DMA with only ONE transmitter for each network, while the other stations either use 2 stations (WICS/WICD & WRSP/WCCU) on both sides of the DMA, or have their transmitters in the middle of the DMA. (WAND & WBUI)
 

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They'll probably be waiting longer than THAT - Nexstar is so poor, you know & just can't afford to spend all that money. (at least that's what THEY are saying)[/QUOTE]

Boy can I relate. Nexstar's problem is that they have a s**t load of stations that they need to upgrade. They have 2 here in my area ABC,& CBS. Both or SD LP digital (mono audio) and won't be upgraded until nest year. Reason there won't be an upgrade until then is due to the fact that both of the towers have to be reinforced before they can go full power. Also inside the stations master control they are using to switchers that were built in the 70's. I know this due to the fact I interviewed for a job there and know the chief engineer. Both of these boards are just like one that I have had to rebuild. They litterally are so old that the company that makes them don't stock manuals or parts for them.
 

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James Long said:
Silly or not it is TRUE, Bob. One gets the waiver from the local station(s) who have the right to serve you, no permission at all is needed from the distant station that one gets to see. :)
See 47 USC 325(b) and note 47 USC 325(b)(2)(C)(ii).
 

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BobS said:
See 47 USC 325(b) and note 47 USC 325(b)(2)(C)(ii).
Nice reference:
(b) Consent to retransmission of broadcasting station signals
(2) This subsection shall not apply -
(C) until December 31, 2009, to retransmission of the signals of network stations directly to a home satellite antenna, if the subscriber receiving the signal -
(ii) resides in an unserved household;​
As it states in 47 USC 325, the definition of unserved comes from 17 USC 119 (d)
(10) Unserved household. -
The term ''unserved household'', with respect to a particular television network, means a household that -
(A) cannot receive, through the use of a conventional, stationary, outdoor rooftop receiving antenna, an over-the-air signal of a primary network station affiliated with that network of Grade B intensity as defined by the Federal Communications Commission under section 73.683(a) of title 47 of the Code of Federal Regulations, as in effect on January 1, 1999;
(B) is subject to a waiver that meets the standards of sub-section (a)(14) whether or not the waiver was granted before the date of the enactment of the Satellite Home Viewer Extension and Reauthorization Act of 2004;
(C) is a subscriber to whom subsection (e) applies;
(D) is a subscriber to whom subsection (a)(11) (a)(12) applies; or
(E) is a subscriber to whom the exemption under subsection (a)(2)(B)(iii) applies.​
Waivered households are, by definition, unserved. :)

Thanks for helping me prove that carriage of WLS outside of it's market to unserved households (which includes those with waivers) does NOT require the permission of WLS.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
dishrich said:
Why do you say this? Contrary to all the "HD geeks" out there, SD is NOT dead by any means, at least not now. WCIA gets carriage of their SD signal on both D* & E*, as well as on ALL cable systems in our DMA.

)
I just meant that with the launch of digital signals being the only VHF commercial station in a market isn't going to matter as much in the future. It doesn't seem to matter much now since WCIA 3 isn't picked up well in Springfield while like you and like you said other stations have their transmitters in the middle of the market. Didn't WAND used to have a repeater in Danville on channel 68 several years back?
 
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