Re: SHVIA / SHVERA laws still crazy?
- From: phil-news-nospam@xxxxxxxx
- Date: 28 Jun 2006 18:31:08 GMT
On Sat, 17 Jun 2006 20:41:12 GMT Mike Potratz <mpotratz@xxxxxxxxx> wrote:
| The reason Comcast has all the channels is they are under a "Must Carry"
| rule. Since you actually fall into the Grade A from one side and Grade B
| from the other, Comcast is required by the FCC to carry them all.
So therefore can I conclude that it is NOT a copyright violation to
deliver grade B stations into a different market, at least when the
grade A stations are carried?
| Satellite coverage is another matter. There is no "Must Carry" for
| them. Then, being in the 154th DMA in the country means the viewing
| public is small ie not enough revenue generation to cover the satellite
| space it would take to put them up there along with everything else.
| You have a finite amount of digital broadcast spectrum and they're
| (DirectTV/DishNetwork) are going to use it for best money making
Just to be fair, I think that either satellite needs to have its own
"Must Carry" rule, or else cable need to have an opt-out to the "Must
Carry" rule which would deny them carrying any OTA stations (e.g. it
would then be an "all or nothing" rule). Of course, cable would not
do that, right?
| Another look: The satellite companies get the signal from the local
| channels and rebroadcast them to their viewers for a small fee. The TV
| stations do not get a slice of that. Hum... If the station was carried
| and you requested to get it, the request is forward to that station
| (normally to the Chief Engineer) for approval/disapproval. Our company
| has a standing policy that we DO NOT approve satellite waivers to
| receive our channels if you live within our Grade A/B or C coverage areas.
Why should the stations get a part of that delivery fee? How is getting
the local station by paying a satellite company to deliver it any different
than paying a company to stick up an antenna for me?
Out there in Iowa, you don't have issues like "hill shadows". If you did,
would you still deny a waiver to someone who simply had no way to get your
signal at all whatsoever? IMHO, I think any station that denies a waiver
should be required to pay all the costs of delivering the signal to the
viewer above and beyond the ordinary cost of installing an antenna, which
would be about $100 or so. In my case, to get the "grade A" market stations
at my location, we're talking many thousands of dollars, and maybe more as
the height needed could well go beyond 200 feet.
Is your signal on Dishnet/DirecTV?
| Seem strange? Remember cable HAS to carry our signal everywhere in our
| coverage area. So even though we cover all those areas, cable is
| filling in those little pockets of non-receiption due to terrain.
However, cable is becoming more and more an unsuitable service, as is
the case now with Comcast. Here, even after a system rebuild, they still
cannot get a reliable signal on the local channels. They've switched
to digital receivers and it's now worse (pictures freeze up frequently).
I'll save thread bandwidth by not even getting into customer service.
So please don't use "you can get the channels with cable" argument.
The whole objective with all this is to cut off cable entirely. And
the purpose of that is _because_ the cable service is so lousy.
| So there really isn't anything you can do to force their hand in this
| matter. Seems cruel but that is the business. Living where you do your
| choice is satellite programming with local or cable without the
| satellite channels.
I've already started communicating with my Congressman to explain to him
that the law still does not work for some of these smaller places like
where I live. I was asked by the staffer I talked with to write up a
proposal that I think should apply to the "non-covered markets". Right
now I am thinking through ideas and trying to research it and get more
feedback from various sources.
Here is one of my ideas: for customers in markets without local-in-local
coverage, an alternative affiliate service must be provided AT NO FEE above
the basic satellite package costs (they currently charge about $5/mo) for
normal local-in-local. The affiliates provided MUST be the closest market
available. The national affiliates would then be provided only in cases of
them being the nearest market, or the customer not being in a LiL spot beam.
Note the NO FEE in this case is intended to encourage the satellite companies
to expand their LiL coverage.
I will include local affiliate protection, but it would be different than
the waiver process. The customer would sign a paper saying they cannot
receive a decent signal from the local stations (that are not provided by
the satellite company) at a reasonable cost. The installer would verify
the poor signal when installing. The affected stations would be sent a
notification of this, identifying the customer location. The station can
then challenge this _provided_ they state that they did their own signal
test at that location and found the signal was available in good quality,
or is willing to pay the costs of installing a receiving system (customer
pays the first $100) to get that good signal (for all stations in the
local market unwilling to let the customer get the alternate market for
I'm in favor of protecting the market for local stations. However, I do
not extend that protection to locations where the signal is not available
for free. Nor would I extend that protection on the basis of availability
of the local channels on cable TV (unless the stations are willing to pay
the cable company for basic service).
I'm all for the local channels being FIRST to be delivered to customers,
and where applicable, EXCLUSIVELY delivered for their network. But where
that isn't possible, I think the station should have NO SAY in denying an
alternative affiliate (the closest one that is available).
| Hope this helps.
Not sure it does. If your signal is on the satellites, and if your area
has no blind spots (which I suspect could be the case in Iowa), then I
can see it being reasonable to unilaterally denying waivers. But in the
case where such a waiver results in that viewer not being able to see
The WB (or this fall, The CW) in a reasonable way, then I feel such a
waiver is inappropriate and harmful. Expecting your viewers to have to
pay a lousy cable company just to get your signal is equally unserving.
What would help are solutions. If you don't like mine, propose your own.
I'm not dead set on any specific solution (but do remember that cable is
the _problem_, not a solution).
But please do this for me. Put yourself in the role of one of the local
stations here. There is absolutely zero way to get your signal at all
(well, maybe a 300 foot tower might get above the hill line). The next
market over can be received, is watchable, but is also snowy and subject
to airplane ghosting, etc. Cable is crap. Satellite works and works
reasonably well most of the time, even for the nearby market locals
which satellite pirates in the area already get with no hassles). Now,
tell me that you would still deny a waiver and say "sorry, you will not
be able to reasonably watch national networks".
| Mike Potratz
| Chief Engineer
| Des Moines, IA
| phil-news-nospam@xxxxxxxx wrote:
|> Additional info:
|> The local cable system operator, Comcast, carries ALL the stations
|> listed above from both markets. I don't know if that means 2,4,11 are
|> considered in-market or out-of-market. If the DMA is the say on that,
|> then obviously they are carrying out of market stations. Since DMA 154
|> has no primary ABC affiliate, they would have to minimally carry WTAE.
|> But they also carry KDKA and WPIX. Additionally, they carry WYTV from
|> Youngstown (DMA #102).
|> I know broadcasters and their networks have general concerns over the
|> carriage of distant stations by satellite providers. But I generally
|> consider that to mean the New York and Los Angeles stations that are
|> being offered. Does the concern also treat as part of the distant
|> station issue those stations that are from adjacent markets, especially
|> when the viewer is in grade B from that adjacent market? I would think
|> that WTRF would be concerned over carriage of KDKA on the cable system,
|> and likewise WTOV would be concerned over carriage of WPXI. And maybe
|> even WTAE would be concerned over carriage of WYTV.
|> Any ideas on how to convince the satellite providers to provide the
|> channels from Pittsburgh (2,4,11,13,53 and maybe 19,22,40) in lieu of
|> distant stations, at least when showing that channels 7 and 9 are not
|> receiveable at all?
| Phil Howard KA9WGN (ka9wgn.ham.org) / Do not send to the address below |
| first name lower case at ipal.net / spamtrap-2006-06-28-1225@xxxxxxxx |
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