Any Chance Dish might lose Fox/UPN/WB superstations

HDTV Rookie

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Dec 1, 2003
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after reading this article (http://www.satelliteguys.us/showthread.php?t=7588) in the D* forum, I am left to wonder if Rupert might use the fact that he owns Fox and the superstations to leverage his position in the DBS market. Could it be possible that he could demand such a price that E*, Comcast or any other provider would refuse or not be able to afford to carry Fox, WB, UPN or any of Rupert's stations. I for one know that one of the reasons I stay with E* is b/c of the super stations pack. But Rupert could put D* in the driver's seat if he did this, as I would imagine, many subscribers would jump ship if they could not get FOX (means no NFC FOOTBALL) or any of the other stations he owns

I know it would be a shrewd business move, maybe even unethical, but not illegal, as far as I know.

So could this actually happen?
 

aperry

SatelliteGuys Pro
Sep 26, 2003
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If Rupert were to pull something like that, it would be a cold day in hell before I would switch to D*.

Plus, I would imagine that there would be something at least partially illegal about such a move (fair competition, or perhaps anti-trust)... That would be like Microsoft saying they would only allow their operating system to run on Intel processors (not AMD). Can you imagine the firestorm that would result?

I would say this is extremely unlikely scenario. I'm sure we will all have our Fox stations for years to come.
 

James Long

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Oct 24, 2003
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HDTV Rookie said:
after reading this article (http://www.satelliteguys.us/showthread.php?t=7588) in the D* forum, I am left to wonder if Rupert might use the fact that he owns Fox and the superstations to leverage his position in the DBS market. Could it be possible that he could demand such a price that E*, Comcast or any other provider would refuse or not be able to afford to carry Fox, WB, UPN or any of Rupert's stations.
...
So could this actually happen?
The FCC would prevent that.

JL
 

bobj2004

SatelliteGuys Guru
Feb 9, 2004
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There is a legal clause in the FCC merger terms.

Requiring Dish and Direct to go to a mediator if ANYTHING happens that they cant agree on content wise.

Common sence is the mediator would not allow it.

If anything I see Direct ADDING some Super stations like WWOR that they own to ALL cities that do not have a UPN feed. Same with the WB feed.

THis could happen once the new 7s sat is up.
 

A_Noland

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Sep 8, 2003
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If I remember correctly, he can't even pull stations during negotiations. He may have less bargining power to do that now that he has D*
 

TBarclay

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Sep 8, 2003
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Besides, the advertising end of Rupert's business wouldn't want to lose ~10 million potential customers. He can be ruthless, but he's not stupid.
 

BobMurdoch

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Sep 12, 2003
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Yes, I agree.... If anything this will actually help things as D* gets national Fox and UPN HD feeds put up and the FCC's implied threat that prohibited Rupe from wielding his monopoly power will force him to make it available to E* as well... (If these guys have any brains they will put their egos aside and focus on defeating cable instead of each other....)
 

HDTV Rookie

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Ok, but let's look at things a bit closer. First look what Viacom is doing to E*, they are not denying E* the services, just making it difficult for them to accept the terms. So couldn't Rupert just set unrealistic prices or terms, then turn around and tell the FCC, Hey I am not denying services to E*. Second, I do not believe that there is a federal mandate that local channels must be carried on satellite or cable (if so every market would have locals), since technically locals are free with an OTA antenna. (I know, not everyone can get their locals with an OTA antenna) Third, please keep in mind that D* and Fox, while under the same parent company, are indeed different companies all together, therefore Rupert could simply say he is negotiating simply for Fox's interest, not D*'s. Finally, since Rupert was able to get his purchase of D* past the FCC and SEC, who is to say that they would be able to stop him, I think just the very thought that Rupert could throw off the balance b/c he owns a major network should have been enough grounds for them to have stopped the purchasing of D*

Anyway, just my thoughts or could they be my conspiracy theory.
 

James Long

SatelliteGuys Pro
Oct 24, 2003
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Michiana: South of the Border
HDTV Rookie said:
... couldn't Rupert just set unrealistic prices or terms, then turn around and tell the FCC, Hey I am not denying services to E*.
The "unrealistic terms" would have to be offered to D* and cable as well as E*.

HDTV Rookie said:
Second, I do not believe that there is a federal mandate that local channels must be carried on satellite or cable (if so every market would have locals), since technically locals are free with an OTA antenna.
The mandate is that if one station in a market is carried, all stations in the market must be carried - either via "must carry" or "consent to carry". There is no rule that says E* or D* has to carry locals ... but D* did agree to add more local markets as terms of the FCC agreement to the recent merger.

HDTV Rookie said:
Third, please keep in mind that D* and Fox, while under the same parent company, are indeed different companies all together, therefore Rupert could simply say he is negotiating simply for Fox's interest, not D*'s.
Back to #1. He cannot offer E* a unfairly different deal than D* pays.

HDTV Rookie said:
Finally, since Rupert was able to get his purchase of D* past the FCC and SEC, who is to say that they would be able to stop him,
Getting the merger through is not carte blanc for the future.

JL
 

Stargazer

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I must have WB. If Dish does not have it the first thing I would be doing is not trying to go to DirecTv to get it, but rather try to get a FTA receiver that would offer it, or get it on C/Ku Band if possible. It is in my local stations package so I think that station is safe.
 

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