FCC charges Sinclair managed stations charged with bad faith negotiation

slice1900

SatelliteGuys Pro
Feb 14, 2015
1,107
488
IA
The reason why locals aren't free for cable/satellite providers when they are free over the air is copyright law. Copyright law requires a license to rebroadcast content owned by others, and "rebroadcasting" is what cable/satellite providers do when they make locals available on their system.

If they want to offer locals for free they can integrate OTA into their system and let customers put up an antenna. My cable company changes $15/month for locals, if there was a way to drop locals so they didn't provide them to me, I'd put an antenna on my roof. I'm in a bit of a low area but I think I'd be able to pick up the big 4. Unfortunately my Tivo can't pick up cable and OTA at the same time, but a second Tivo would be worth it to save $180/year (and increasing fast - it was only $7 less than three years ago!)
 

Don in CT

SatelliteGuys Pro
Pub Member / Supporter
Dec 4, 2013
950
598
Central CT
The reason why locals aren't free for cable/satellite providers when they are free over the air is copyright law. Copyright law requires a license to rebroadcast content owned by others, and "rebroadcasting" is what cable/satellite providers do when they make locals available on their system.

If they want to offer locals for free they can integrate OTA into their system and let customers put up an antenna. My cable company changes $15/month for locals, if there was a way to drop locals so they didn't provide them to me, I'd put an antenna on my roof. I'm in a bit of a low area but I think I'd be able to pick up the big 4. Unfortunately my Tivo can't pick up cable and OTA at the same time, but a second Tivo would be worth it to save $180/year (and increasing fast - it was only $7 less than three years ago!)
That law would go away quick if all cable/sat operators refused to pay retransmission fees and dropped the stations.
 

slice1900

SatelliteGuys Pro
Feb 14, 2015
1,107
488
IA
That law would go away quick if all cable/sat operators refused to pay retransmission fees and dropped the stations.
That "law" is copyright law. It will never go away. If cable/satellite operators all refused to pay (and somehow the FTC didn't sue them for antitrust) the stations might be more willing to negotiate, but there's no way copyright law will ever be changed there. Such a change would allow me to for example check out a book from the library, make copies of it, and sell the copies. It would be a fundamental change to a huge part of our economy.
 

Don in CT

SatelliteGuys Pro
Pub Member / Supporter
Dec 4, 2013
950
598
Central CT
and give up ESPN, FOX sports, FOX RSN's, NBC RSN's, Disney, and more?
Disney needs the providers more than they need Disney. If all of the providers say no to the extortion too must carry the locals in order to get the cable channels Disney will cave.

There is no law saying they must carry locals. That rule was overturned years ago.
 

DishSubLA

SatelliteGuys Pro
Apr 9, 2006
4,953
855
The reason why locals aren't free for cable/satellite providers when they are free over the air is copyright law. Copyright law requires a license to rebroadcast content owned by others, and "rebroadcasting" is what cable/satellite providers do when they make locals available on their system.

If they want to offer locals for free they can integrate OTA into their system and let customers put up an antenna. My cable company changes $15/month for locals, if there was a way to drop locals so they didn't provide them to me, I'd put an antenna on my roof. I'm in a bit of a low area but I think I'd be able to pick up the big 4. Unfortunately my Tivo can't pick up cable and OTA at the same time, but a second Tivo would be worth it to save $180/year (and increasing fast - it was only $7 less than three years ago!)
yes, while cable TV mso's are subject to copyright law in regards to retransmission of local broadcasters, I thought from day one satellite was granted an exemption including the current, but near to expire, STELAR legislation.

There have been attempts to take away satellite exemption on copyright in regards to retransmission of local broadcast but those attempts failed. However, with new legislation being crafted to replace the soon-to-expire STELAR, the fight to take away satellites exemption copyright in regards to local into local is underway right now, or at least that's my understanding of the situation.

And for what it's worth copyright law has no special standing in which Congress cannot explicitly write any exemption it wants to in any piece of legislation. As far as I can remember, copyright is not an article of the Constitution. Further, copyright laws themselves can be completely re-written struck out or amended anyway Congress pleases including even abolishing what we know as copyright in our modern world. Of course, that's an extreme an unlikely situation. However if at some point society and Congress believe that local into local for satellite and local retransmission for cable TV should be exempt from copyright for the purposes of retransmission, Congress can do so and it would not be overturned. In regards to copyright law, Congress can do anything it wants and that is why satellite, to my last recollection, is exempt and not cable TV MSO's. However new satellite legislation could force satellite LiL to be subject to the same copyright provision as cable TV, of course, the satellite companies will fight that and could once again prevail. perhaps I've missed something but I seem to recall that satellite is still exempt from copyright in regards to local into local.
 
  • Like
Reactions: jamesjimcie

Don in CT

SatelliteGuys Pro
Pub Member / Supporter
Dec 4, 2013
950
598
Central CT
yes, while cable TV mso's are subject to copyright law in regards to retransmission of local broadcasters, I thought from day one satellite was granted an exemption including the current, but near to expire, STELAR legislation.

There have been attempts to take away satellite exemption on copyright in regards to retransmission of local broadcast but those attempts failed. However, with new legislation being crafted to replace the soon-to-expire STELAR, the fight to take away satellites exemption copyright in regards to local into local is underway right now, or at least that's my understanding of the situation.

And for what it's worth copyright law has no special standing in which Congress cannot explicitly write any exemption it wants to in any piece of legislation. As far as I can remember, copyright is not an article of the Constitution. Further, copyright laws themselves can be completely re-written struck out or amended anyway Congress pleases including even abolishing what we know as copyright in our modern world. Of course, that's an extreme an unlikely situation. However if at some point society and Congress believe that local into local for satellite and local retransmission for cable TV should be exempt from copyright for the purposes of retransmission, Congress can do so and it would not be overturned. In regards to copyright law, Congress can do anything it wants and that is why satellite, to my last recollection, is exempt and not cable TV MSO's. However new satellite legislation could force satellite LiL to be subject to the same copyright provision as cable TV, of course, the satellite companies will fight that and could once again prevail. perhaps I've missed something but I seem to recall that satellite is still exempt from copyright in regards to local into local.
I thought it was the FCC that loosened the restrictions on must carry and retransmission fees.
 

slice1900

SatelliteGuys Pro
Feb 14, 2015
1,107
488
IA
yes, while cable TV mso's are subject to copyright law in regards to retransmission of local broadcasters, I thought from day one satellite was granted an exemption including the current, but near to expire, STELAR legislation.

Satellite doesn't have an exemption to copyright law from STELAR, they still have to negotiate & pay for locals like cable does. There is a sort of exception where DNS is concerned, I believe in the case of unserved or "short" markets (i.e. markets that lack a CBS/ABC/NBC or Fox affiliate) they can import DNS station(s) and don't have to negotiate in the same way for carriage. They still have to pay for them, but at predetermined statutory rates, rather than negotiated rates (and no, I don't know who determines those statutory rates or what they are)

Since Dish carries all 212 DMAs, and Directv carries 200 (and the 12 they don't are all tiny markets that are "short" at least one affiliate) this has no effect on most of us. Not sure how cable handles those short markets.
 
  • Like
Reactions: jamesjimcie
Top