Bill Gives Dish Access To Oklahoma Stations

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atomic22

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The Southwest Times Record in Fort Smith, AR has an article about a new piece of legislation being introduced in the House of Representatives that would allow residents of Oklahoma to choose their local network affiliates! The articles says that any Oklahoma resident would be able to select from either the OKC or Tulsa locals. This could be good news for those of us who live in a different state than the one our local affiliates broadcast out of! :)

http://www.swtimes.com/articles/2007/02/09/news/news13.txt


I originally posted "Oklahoma House of Representatives" by Mistake. The Bill was introduced at the federal level, not state.
 
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lakebum431

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Wow, that is interesting. I wonder if it will be struck down by the feds?
 
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Barry Erick

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FCC law overrides local laws. Always have. Look at the antenna rules. Look at Denver TV Towers. FCC said build them. Denver said no, not in our back yard. FCC says build. Courts agree. FCC wins.
 
jayn_j

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FCC law overrides local laws. Always have. Look at the antenna rules. Look at Denver TV Towers. FCC said build them. Denver said no, not in our back yard. FCC says build. Courts agree. FCC wins.

Wow. This post is incorrect in every possible way.

First, Denver never said "no". It is being fought by a small group of property owners on Lookout Mountain. The fight has been going on for 8 years now. What finally broke it loose was a bill introduced into congress by all of our legislators in the closing days of the last congressional session that expressly permits building of the towers. It was signed by Bush on the last possible day.

This bill stated that the City of Golden could not deny a tower permit on Lookout Mountain, with a couple of minor conditions (no taller than the tallest existing tower).

The FCC stood idly by for all of those 8 years and had nothing to do with it.
 
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HDTVFanAtic

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To begin with, the Oklahoma Legislature can pass whatever they want.

The network affiliation agreement specifically states the local station will not sign an agreement that allows the network to be shown outside of their DMA - so lots of luck with that.
 
mdonnelly

mdonnelly

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To begin with, the Oklahoma Legislature can pass whatever they want.
...
Yes, they can. But, Dan Boren is one of 6 U.S. congressmen from Oklahoma. That's a House bill. Notice the Washington dateline? The OP picked the wrong house.
 
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HDTVFanAtic

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Wow. This post is incorrect in every possible way.

First, Denver never said "no". It is being fought by a small group of property owners on Lookout Mountain. The fight has been going on for 8 years now. What finally broke it loose was a bill introduced into congress by all of our legislators in the closing days of the last congressional session that expressly permits building of the towers. It was signed by Bush on the last possible day.

This bill stated that the City of Golden could not deny a tower permit on Lookout Mountain, with a couple of minor conditions (no taller than the tallest existing tower).

The FCC stood idly by for all of those 8 years and had nothing to do with it.

The FCC gave a construction permit.

Local zoning and protests held it up. The FCC does not get involved with local zoning issues - and only when it passes policy (ie the OTAR bill for antenna and 1 meter dishes) does it trump local ordinances.

The basic concept of the United States was States Rights and leaving the Federal Goverment to National Issues.
 
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HDTVFanAtic

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Yes, they can. But, Dan Boren is one of 6 U.S. congressmen from Oklahoma. That's a House bill. Notice the Washington dateline?

Doesn't matter where it's passed, the affiliate agreement still says that the station in Tulsa cannot sign a retransmission agreement with a MSO in Oklahoma City and vice versa (that includes satellite services).

If you want Tulsa Newscast in Oklahoma City, no problem. If you want a National Network out of Tulsa in Oklahoma City, you'll only end up with a blank screen - no different than a Sports Blackout.
 
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HDTVFanAtic

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BTW, there has never been a law prohibiting stations from broadcasting content they have the legal rights to where ever they want.

A Satellite Provider or a MSO could sign an agreement with ANY local channel and broadcast their news and any local programming they produce today anywhere in the world.

However, the stations in Tulsa and Oklahoma City do not have the legal right to allow their Network programming outside of their DMA - and that is in their network affiliation agreements.

Of course, as his argument is that the news is from outside of Oklahoma, that eliminates that problem out of the box and is a reason this bill will be a non-starter out of the box.

url said:
Boren said the law doesn’t take into account the effect it has on rural Oklahomans who seek in-state news coverage.

“Whether you live in Tulsa or Poteau, you are an Oklahoman,” Boren said in a statement.

“But my constituents in border counties often feel isolated because their news coverage and other programming is coming from Texas, Arkansas, Missouri or Louisiana.”
 
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atomic22

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Sorry for the mistake in the original post. Though I would try to redeem myself by posting this tidbit of info. This is the official press release from Mr. Boren's website.

http://www.house.gov/list/press/ok02_boren/20070208tv.html

Not sure if anyone can confirm the part of the press release that states:

Exemptions have been provided in the past to states in similar situations. Oregon, Mississippi, New Hampshire and Vermont in 2004 were granted the same treatment Boren is now seeking for Oklahoma.
 
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HDTVFanAtic

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Boren just realizes that his re-election campaign has to buy TV spots in 6 markets because of the way his district was divided up and is trying to consolidate markets.
 
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Greg Bimson

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atomic22 said:
Not sure if anyone can confirm the part of the press release that states:

Exemptions have been provided in the past to states in similar situations. Oregon, Mississippi, New Hampshire and Vermont in 2004 were granted the same treatment Boren is now seeking for Oklahoma.
Yes, that is correct. However, these were very limited in nature:

For New Hampshire, the only commercial network channel licensed in the state was given statewide coverage. WMUR, the ABC affiliate in Manchester (which is in the Boston market) was allowed to be rebroadcast to the entire state.

For Vermont, the county in the very southeast part of the state is also in the Bostom market. The law allowed for that county to receive the Burlington, VT local channels.

For Mississippi, the two most southwestern counties are in the Baton Rouge market. They were given the ability to receive the Jackson local channels.

No one has done anything for Oregon at this time (that we know of). However, the law is very similar to what is proposed for Oklahoma.

Therefore, it is very possible that the law could be amended to allow rural Oklahomans to receive channels form Tulsa or OKC. However, that will do nothing to help those already in the Tulsa or OKC market. This will only help those in markets such as Fort Smith, Sherman/Ada, and I believe even Shreveport.

In the big picture, this will not help a lot of people, but it will help the people that need it most.
 
tonyp56

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Well, I live in Oklahoma, and I happen to live in the OKC DMA. Which has always been stupid, because I'm 40 miles from Tulsa and 70 or so from OKC. I never used to watch OKC channels, until I got Dish LiL, and honestly, OKC channels don't talk about my area enough. Believe it or not, Tulsa stations have more about my area even though I'm not actually in their DMA.

FCC, well hope they let this through, if it goes through, lol. It would be cool. Considering I can get all Tulsa and OKC channels OTA, why does it matter if I get one or the other via satellite?
 
mike123abc

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Doesn't matter where it's passed, the affiliate agreement still says that the station in Tulsa cannot sign a retransmission agreement with a MSO in Oklahoma City and vice versa (that includes satellite services).

If you want Tulsa Newscast in Oklahoma City, no problem. If you want a National Network out of Tulsa in Oklahoma City, you'll only end up with a blank screen - no different than a Sports Blackout.

If congress overrides the copyright of the network you can indeed get a Tulsa station outside of its DMA. This is the same as if you lived in a white area in a DMA and the satellite provider provided you with a New York station even though you lived in OK. In fact the way the distants law is written the provider can pick any affiliate and provide their signal to any white area without that stations consent, or the consent of the network.

The key here is that the local station does not sign an agreement, its signal is picked up and retransmitted without its consent. It does not have any say so in the retransmission. Congress has in its power to say that any person in OK can get any network signal. The stations are using the public airwaves and any copyrights they have are granted by congress and can be taken away at the whim of congress. The only way for a station to prevent congress from doing it is to stop transmitting on the public airwaves... Or of course lobby congress to get the law changed to its favor (which the NAB has been very successful at).
 
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ThomasRz

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You are essentially correct but are conflating two issues. The copyright power applies without regard to the "public airwaves." Even if the content were being sent entirely by a cable, it is still protected by copyright (as limited by law). The prohibition on retransmission of a signal (whether the content is copyrighted or not) is a related, but different issue. For DBS purposes there is generally no need to distinguish these two facets of rebroadcasting but they are separate.


If congress overrides the copyright of the network you can indeed get a Tulsa station outside of its DMA. This is the same as if you lived in a white area in a DMA and the satellite provider provided you with a New York station even though you lived in OK. In fact the way the distants law is written the provider can pick any affiliate and provide their signal to any white area without that stations consent, or the consent of the network.

The key here is that the local station does not sign an agreement, its signal is picked up and retransmitted without its consent. It does not have any say so in the retransmission. Congress has in its power to say that any person in OK can get any network signal. The stations are using the public airwaves and any copyrights they have are granted by congress and can be taken away at the whim of congress. The only way for a station to prevent congress from doing it is to stop transmitting on the public airwaves... Or of course lobby congress to get the law changed to its favor (which the NAB has been very successful at).
 
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Greg Bimson

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tonyp56 said:
Well, I live in Oklahoma, and I happen to live in the OKC DMA. Which has always been stupid, because I'm 40 miles from Tulsa and 70 or so from OKC. I never used to watch OKC channels, until I got Dish LiL, and honestly, OKC channels don't talk about my area enough. Believe it or not, Tulsa stations have more about my area even though I'm not actually in their DMA.

FCC, well hope they let this through, if it goes through, lol. It would be cool. Considering I can get all Tulsa and OKC channels OTA, why does it matter if I get one or the other via satellite?
There are numerous people with the same problem, myself included. I live a slight bit closer to DC than to Baltimore, but I am in the Baltimore market.

The issue here is how the law will be written. More on that in a moment...
mike123abc said:
If congress overrides the copyright of the network you can indeed get a Tulsa station outside of its DMA. This is the same as if you lived in a white area in a DMA and the satellite provider provided you with a New York station even though you lived in OK. In fact the way the distants law is written the provider can pick any affiliate and provide their signal to any white area without that stations consent, or the consent of the network.
Not trying to pile on from what ThomasRz said, but...

As your example states, Congress provided the copyright exemption for those in "white areas". Anything more could be construed as an illegal government seizure of property (namely, the distribution contracts), and the broadcasters would fight if there was a law that allowed unfettered access to any network channel.

As a matter of fact, the four states with the special provisions (New Hampshire, Vermont, Mississippi and Oregon) are all tied to the "distant networks" law, so they do behave in the manner described. There is no need for any negotiation of contracts within the areas allowed by law. For example, DirecTV needs to negotiate and gain a carriage contract for WMUR in Manchester, NH, to carry it in the Boston market, but does not need a contract to carry the channel to the rest of New Hampshire.
mike123abc said:
The only way for a station to prevent congress from doing it is to stop transmitting on the public airwaves... Or of course lobby congress to get the law changed to its favor (which the NAB has been very successful at).
Actually, the second way is what I described above. If the broadcast lobby feels a law unfairly seizes their exclusive broadcasting contracts, then the broadcast lobby can sue to declare the law unconstitutional. If upheld in court, the law would be stricken from the record.

...and now for the more from "how the law will be written"...

This is a Dish Network forum. As long as Dish Network has an injunction on 17 USC 119 (the distants law), Dish Network will not be able to give anyone any out of market channels, even if this special provision for Oklahoma is passed. There are a couple of different bills before the new Congress to give Dish Network the ability to use the distants law for both the special provisions as well as the "signficantly-viewed" stations. It will be a matter of time before we know when any of those law may be passed.

And, we don't know how the law will be written. If it is like any of the other "special provisions", it will only have impact on those counties in Oklahoma which lie outside of either Tulsa or Oklahoma City. Which means that if you are in the Tulsa or OKC market, you will not get any additional stations.
 

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