Letter from Charlie Ergen

GaryPen

Rich or poor, it's good to have money.
Supporting Founder
Greg Bimson said:
If you are completely against the regulations against must-carry, are you also against the cap for OTA station ownership? It is another regulation that I would like to see repealed.

The station-ownership regulation needs to be strengthened, with a lower number of stations allowed to be owned by a single entity. As it is, it is too high. It gives the providers too much control of what we see and hear, as well as how we pay for it. Viacom is a perfect example of that for you Dish subs. Disney. Time-Warner. Fox. Clear Channel. If you don't keep them under control, they spread like cancer, devouring everything in their path.

At least, the FCC was forced to back down a notch from the recent ridiculous increase in the number of stations allowed. It was such a blatant favor to News Corp (and possibly Clear Channel?), for their steadfast support of the current administration, that even our corporate-sponsored legislators gave Michael Powell a spanking on it.
 

SimpleSimon

SatelliteGuys Master
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Feb 29, 2004
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Florissant, CO
Greg and Gary:

Yes, I support removing all of these regulations - at least I can't think of any to keep. The free market will provide plenty of variety. Any place there's an empty market, someone will come along to fill it.

No argument about the recent FCC thing - if it's going to be regulated like that, it's gotta be 'fair' - so just take the hands off approach and let it fly.

Personally, I don't care about PBS, and I do NOT want my tax dollars spent on it. Back before HIST, DISC, TLC, etc., it had some value, but no more. However, I fully support and encourage anyone and everyone that wants to donate to local & national PBS. Again, free market rules apply.

Finally, regarding landline phone companies, a big part of their problem IS the old state regulations. Ma Bell is dead, and so are her babies - let it all just fly. Out here, one of the biggest regulations has to do with "equal access" for rural residents. Qwest gets a bunch of money to 'cover their costs' - and yet they still (until recently) charged onerous distance charges. the state caught on (after 10-20 years - yes Gary, you're on the money with sponsored law, eh!). Even so, many rural residents couldn't get landlines - and still can't. And those that can have lousy service (e.g. 26K dial-up is a good day). The free market solved the problem - cell phones - and some providers are supplying medium-speed internet access at the same time. Cost? For the average customer, usually less than the crappy landline.
 

Stargazer

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Sep 7, 2003
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Western WV
I think that if there is an issue with the customer not having the dish that is needed for those stations they want on the wings, let the customer and Dish handle it among themselves and if the customer cannot get the dish that is needed for those channels then the customer can switch another provider that can.
 

Greg Bimson

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Jan 21, 2004
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GaryPen said:
At least, the FCC was forced to back down a notch from the recent ridiculous increase in the number of stations allowed. It was such a blatant favor to News Corp (and possibly Clear Channel?), for their steadfast support of the current administration, that even our corporate-sponsored legislators gave Michael Powell a spanking on it.
Two things that must be remembered:

1) The FCC wasn't who proposed the increase. It was Congress.

2) It was Congress because I believe Time Warner sued the FCC to remove the "arbitrary" cap. The judge agreed that the number was arbitrary, set at 35% of the nation (with some loopholes, of course), and struck down the FCC set limit of 35%. When Congress restarted, they tried to pass a law to change the cap to 45%. The compromise was signed into law at 39%. That was the amount of stations that both NewsCorp (FOX) and Viacom (CBS and UPN) owned.

Keep in mind that those corporately owned stations are less likely to bump your schedule. Where I live, I have two ABC stations that consistently bump the network programming. And Scripps-Howard and Allbritton are two of the more consistent affiliate groups that bump ABC network programming.

And my big gripe here? 35%? 39%? 45%? Does it really matter if the limit were put at 45%? Right now NewsCorp and Viacom cannot acquire more stations. PAX owns stations that reach into the 70 percent of households range, due to the UHF loophole. Tribune, the largest WB affiliate board member and 25% owner of the WB, is probably over the 39% cap due to this loophole. And Sinclair owns or operates about 60 stations, yet they don't have much against the cap because many stations fall under both the UHF loophole and those stations are also in small markets.

Too many regulations....
 

dlsnyder

SatelliteGuys Pro
Sep 8, 2003
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Moreno Valley, CA
No television station should be basing its business plan on whether or not it will be carried by satellite or cable. I have ranted about this elsewhere so I won't go overboard here. Broadcasters should be thankful for the carriage that they get on cable/DBS. They were licensed to conduct business on a certain broadcast channel and nothing more. Any additional viewers they get as a result of cable/DBS viewership should be considered a bonus. Their primary responsibility is to those who watch their programs on their assigned broadcast channel. If their signal is inadequate to reach their target audience then the responsibility, financially and otherwise, should be on them to get their signal out there by whatever means necessary. It is the broadcaster who should be paying cable/DBS for carriage for every viewer in their DMA that does not get an adequate OTA signal, with the exception of public broadcasters.
 

Peluso

SatelliteGuys Family
Sep 8, 2003
45
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rad said:
Remember, government isn't there to protect the people, it's there to protect the corporation.

With all due respect, you are waaaaay off base. Government, especally one as big as ours is a bureaucracy. The main goal of all bureaucracy is it's own survival and growth.

What charlie was doing was definately not in the spirit of the origional agreement, but at the same time it was something that the market would accept. If the populations of the two dish markets demanded all of the stations on a single dish, they would have it. Charlie is a business man and he understands to get what he wants, he needs to offer the customers what they want.
 

GaryPen

Rich or poor, it's good to have money.
Supporting Founder
dlsnyder- you really make a lot of sense.

greg - I'm pretty sure that I read it was the FCC that proposed the higher number, and were about to impliment it, when Congress stepped in and backed it off. It's still higher than it was, but not as high as Powell & Co (A subsidiary of News Corp.) tried to make it.
 

Stargazer

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Supporting Founder
Sep 7, 2003
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Western WV
Its just another way to get another buck by wanting money for carriage on satellite/cable because they want what they consider their fair share just as the other stations want their money for their stations, so the networks figure ''why can't we get a chunk of the money too?"
 

dlsnyder

SatelliteGuys Pro
Sep 8, 2003
1,825
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Moreno Valley, CA
What would happen to the broadcast industry if cable and satellite providers were legally prohibited from offering local broadcast channels? With the television industry as it is today my guess is that broadcasting as we know it would likely die within 5 to 10 years.
 

SimpleSimon

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Feb 29, 2004
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Florissant, CO
dlsnyder said:
What would happen to the broadcast industry if cable and satellite providers were legally prohibited from offering local broadcast channels? With the television industry as it is today my guess is that broadcasting as we know it would likely die within 5 to 10 years.
I agree, and the only bad thing about that would be the loss of local news & weather, and something would come along to fill that hole - free markets, ya know. :)
 

Greg Bimson

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Jan 21, 2004
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dlsnyder said:
Broadcasters should be thankful for the carriage that they get on cable/DBS.
But now we are back to the same argument: which came first, the chicken or the egg?

Broadcasters don't care if they are carried by rebroadcasters. However, if a rebroadcaster wants to carry their channel, why shouldn't they get paid for it? It is no different whether Comcast wants to carry ESPN or carry the local ABC channel. Comcast will simply have to pay either party in order to carry the channel.
 

Big Bob

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Oct 4, 2003
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SimpleSimon said:
I agree, and the only bad thing about that would be the loss of local news & weather, and something would come along to fill that hole - free markets, ya know. :)

How can there be a free market with a product with finite resources?
There are only just so many radio frequencies. They are a public resource so the government must regulate them.

I don't like the anti-trust laws. Most of them are abused to the point of absurdity. I am a big believer in free market and deregulation. If you don't like that one person owns all of the pipelines, build another one for Pete sake. But in this case, you can't just create more spectrum.


If there were an infinite amount of frequencies, then get rid of the regulations. But as it is, the regulations are necessary.
 

SimpleSimon

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Feb 29, 2004
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Florissant, CO
Big Bob said:
How can there be a free market with a product with finite resources?
There are only just so many radio frequencies. They are a public resource so the government must regulate them.

I don't like the anti-trust laws. Most of them are abused to the point of absurdity. I am a big believer in free market and deregulation. If you don't like that one person owns all of the pipelines, build another one for Pete sake. But in this case, you can't just create more spectrum.


If there were an infinite amount of frequencies, then get rid of the regulations. But as it is, the regulations are necessary.
If we limit ourselves to just OTA, you have a point. However, we have cable, DBS, and even BUD & FTA.
 

Oyving

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Oct 3, 2003
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Amboy IL
Babbling NAB

How about the NAB, they whine about ANY other competition! :river
Look at the lack of choice we have as to what city's stations we pickup :river,
They whine about the 2 dish solution :river ,
They whine about XM and Sirius having traffic reports! :river
My god, they are nothing but little babies yelling, "I'm TELLING!!!!" :river
 

BobMurdoch

Playing XBoxOne SeriesX/Supporter
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Sep 12, 2003
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Brielle, NJ
They want to rewind theclock to 1974 and it's NOT gonna happen.... but that won't stop them from trying to stifle any competitive threat.
 
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