Multiple Network Affiliations

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AntAltMike

SatelliteGuys Pro
Original poster
Aug 28, 2005
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In small markets, where there are very few, full-power transmitters, is there anything stopping, say, the sole Glenive full-power station from affiliating with all six broadcast networks and just transmitting them in standard definition?
 
Glendive has a low powered NBC in the market (and KXGN actually shows part of NBC too)

But could they? I don't see why not. But wouldn't they need approval first?
 
In small markets, where there are very few, full-power transmitters, is there anything stopping, say, the sole Glenive full-power station from affiliating with all six broadcast networks and just transmitting them in standard definition?

It's already happened; From tvnewsday.com

CBS announced today that it signed a long-term affiliation agreement with Media General’s KALB-DT Alexandria, La. (DMA 179). Beginning Jan. 1, 2007, KALB’s digital transmitter will begin airing two signals. One will continue to air NBC and all its other current programs. The other channel will carry CBS programming and introduce other new programs to the area.

In addition, there are a number of TV markets where CW is a digital subchannel.
 
same with Fox & My

In Duluth, MN
CW is a subchannel on CBS
My is a subchannel on NBC

Some markets where there was no fox but foxnet, one of the Big 3 added it (like Presque Isle, ME...they added Fox on the CBS subchannel)
 
The worst thing about subchannels is that they take quality away from the main HD channel. Usually there are just one or two. However I picked up KMIZ in Columbia, MO last night. Their digital channel has ABC, FOX, MyTV, and a local weather channel.
 
Well, look at DT in IL...

Quincy DMA -
WGEM main ch is NBC w/2 subchannels for CGEM (a local FOX feed) AND CW

Rockford DMA -
WTVO main ch is ABC, subchannel MYTV
WREX main ch is NBC, subchannel CW

Quad Cities -
KLJB main ch is FOX, subchannel CW (which is actually repeating KGCW Burlington)

Peoria -
WHOI main ch is ABC, subchannel CW


(sorry about my long-winded rant to follow...)
Now, let's look at MY situation in Springfield...even though we are part of the Champaign/Decatur/Spfld DMA, some of the stations are in the middle of the market (NBC & CW in Decatur) which pretty much covers the entire DMA, while others (ABC & FOX) have full-power satellites for the Champaign side.

Now we come to CBS, which is a full-power station in Champaign (WCIA). Before 2004, Springfield had a full-power satellite (WCFN) for CBS, which covered the whole market. But in April '04, WCIA turned WCFN into a UPN affiliate, which took away CBS for all off-air viewers from the Springfield area. (WCIA is just TOO weak to pull in clearly in Springfield for most people, EVEN with a large antenna/tower/pre-amp - of course, the same is true for WCFN getting over to the Champaign area)

BUT at this same time, WCIA lit up their new digital stations on both sides of the market, abet not at full power. What they then did, is on WCFN-DT, they carried UPN as the primary ch, while carrying CBS as a subchannel. In Champaign, they did exactly the opposite, carrying CBS as the primary ch, while carrying UPN as a subchannel.
(UPN has since been replaced with MYTV)

Keep in mind that NEITHER of these DT's are carrying anything in HD. They did this in this fashion, so that ALL cable systems on BOTH sides could continue carrying CBS, as well as being able to carry their new UPN affiliate. All the local cable systems in the Springfield area pull CBS from the WCFN-DT subchannel, while cable systems in the Champaign area pull UPN (now MYTV) from the WCIA-DT subchannel. Since both D* & E* now carry all our locals, there's no issue here for DBS subs, but BEFORE our DMA was carried, (which was almost 2 years) Spfld DBS subs WERE allowed to get waivers for a distant CBS - which WCIA NEVER, EVER approved before! (but since they were shafting the Springfield market, they didn't have much choice)

NOW, WCIA is now working on getting their DT signal up to full-power. Unfortunately, WCFN-DT is NOT scheduled to be upgraded to full-power HD, until late in 2007. The other problem is - nobody knows if WCFN will carry CBS in HD, or if they are actually going to carry MYTV in HD & leave CBS in SD. (because of course, you CAN'T carry 2 HD channels on 1 DT station)

Now Insight cable has stated they do already have retrans agreements in place for WCIA-HD & that it will be added as soon as the HD signal is lit up.

But NOW keep in mind that, just like in the analog world, NEITHER of these stations will be able to reach the entire viewing market. So near term, off-air Spfld viewers will, most likely, get the shaft AGAIN from WCIA, while cable subs WILL be getting it. (Until D* gets to our market f/HD, those subs get the shaft for HD, of course - I highly doubt E* will get to our market f/HD)

Assuming when they put up WCFN-DT full-power, if they decide to make MYTV in HD, then Spfld off-air viewers will STILL get the shaft on CBS-HD, while off-air viewers in Champaign will get it the shaft on MYTV-HD. But frankly, I'd MUCH rather have CBS in HD before MYTV anyday. :rolleyes:

It's really kind of sad that the state capital of IL gets this kind of 2nd rate service :(
 
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