Why All the Local HD Channels?

BFG

SatelliteGuys Master
Supporting Founder
Mar 2, 2004
8,207
0
Orlando
with hd locals available to me I feel my dish bill is finally worth something since I now have to ability to record 3 of the 4 networks at 1 time..

99% of my viewing is local tv
 

TNGTony

Unashamed Bengal Fan
Sep 7, 2003
10,019
804
Cincinnati, Ohio, USA
I am missing something?

This is an old argument that has been rehashed here since the first local channels started showing up on Dish in 1998 and especially during the time that many lost distant network signals.

Since you are new...one more time: :)
(BTW Welcome to Satelliteguys!)

If ABC, CBS, NBC, Fox or even PBS wanted their programming available to subscribers nationally by cable or satellite it would have already happened. The networks OWN the programs. They choose to distribute their programming via terrestial TV stations. Each TV station has an exclusive market. Exclusive is a form of the word EXCLUDE. So, because the networks, the owners of the programs being broadcast, give exclusive territories to the local TV stations, Dish or DirecTV cannot just have one NBC channel. They have to have one NBC channel for every market they want to get an NBC channel.

Ulike what was posted above about Congress making getting distant networks illegal, it is actually the OPOSITE that is true. Congress passed a law that nullifis the local channel's exclusive rights to a network's programming in very specific cases. (Basically if you live somewhere where you absolutely, positively cannot receive even a ghost of a signal from the local channel or even adjacent market channels with the same network)

Then there is the "carry one carry all" rule. It hasn't taken effect for the digital TV channels yet (notice I did not say HD, I said digital). But it will soon. This means if Dish decides to carry one digital (or HD) TV station in NYC, it has to carry all that ask under the Must Carry rules . So Dish is getting ready with SD MPEG4 versions of the other local digital channels in the market. And part of the same carry one carry all rule, all the digital stations per market must be receivable with one satellite dish. All analog TV stations per market must be receivable with one satellite dish but not necessarily the same as the digital locals.

So.... Digital locals are being added to the spot beams at 61.5.

Did that make sense... I'm starting to have flashbacks to 1999! :)
 
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whatchel1

SatelliteGuys Master
Sep 30, 2006
9,099
48
Great High Plains
Thumbnail sketch ot Must Carry Rule

Here's a paragraph from wiki-pedia about sat carriage.

A variation of "must-carry" also applies to DBS services like DirecTV and DiSH Network, as first mandated by the Satellite Home Viewer Act of 1988. They are not required to carry local stations in every metro area in which they provide service, but must carry all of an area's local stations if they carry any at all. Sometimes, these will be placed on spotbeams: narrowly-directed satellite signals targeted to an area of no more than a few hundred miles diameter, in order to allow the transponder frequencies to be re-used in other markets. In some cases, stations of lower perceived importance are placed on "side satellites" which require a second antenna. This practice has raised some controversy within the industry, leading to the requirement that the satellite provider offer to install any extra dish antenna hardware for free and place a notice to this effect in place of any missing channels.
 

TNGTony

Unashamed Bengal Fan
Sep 7, 2003
10,019
804
Cincinnati, Ohio, USA
"Satellite Home Viewer Act of 1988"

That should be 1999. Not 1988. Also the practice of splitting locals is now expressly prohibited by the reautharization act in 2004

See ya
Tony
 

Mr Tony

SatelliteGuys Pro
Supporting Founder
Nov 17, 2003
299
48
Mankato, MN
SHVA was from 1988
SHVIA was form 99

they screwed that up :)
And also the rule is you have to carry all the locals on one dish. That dish can be a wing (as in the case of 129 or 148) but you can't do the "splits" with locals. Ie: putting the major networks on 110 and the "crappy" ones like Religious and Home Shopping etc on a wing dish
 

aperry

SatelliteGuys Pro
Sep 26, 2003
700
0
This works great for weather emergencies (tornado, flash flood, blizzard, etc. watches/warnings)... :rolleyes:
Yeah, but with a lot of the types of weather you'd really want to know about, your signal from Dish would die anyway, making the local channels useless in that case. :)

That being said, if they killed local channels, you wouldn't even get an indication that a storm was coming (i.e., is not here yet).

So, I know we'll probably all be dead before anything changes, still it's kind of fun to brainstorm ideas... :)

On that note, another option the networks could consider doing would be to offer their programming on national channels in HD, but delay the broadcast by say a week. I know that I wouldn't mind at all waiting to watch my show an extra week if it meant I could finally watch it in HD...
 

goldengoose

SatelliteGuys Pro
Nov 10, 2006
185
0
seems like with the right programming and technology -- they could send out a banner weather warning--like widgets to those zip codes.

So all the Oklahoma zip codes get tornado warning on the bottom of the screen but California ones dont.

Maybe not- maybe be too pricey. Not a programmer myself so just guessing.
 

DishSubLA

SatelliteGuys Master
Apr 9, 2006
5,318
1,172
For some strange, I can't really figure-out reason, every study and survey shows that people (current subs and potential subs) want their local channels via satellite. This preference was the case long before the DVR revolution.

In the beginning, it was illegal for DBS to provide local into local (LiL), meaning they could not put local stations on the satellite to be viewed by subs. From the start, SD Dish STB's have always had an OTA analog input that would allow viewers to easily switch between local OTA and satellite. For me, I can't see that as being a deal-breaker, but it was to a vast number of people. Big deal! So, we press one more button to view our locals.

However, back in the late 1990's, the overwhelmingly number one reason, closely followed by people having to pay for the entire system themselves, people hesitated to subscribe to satellite was that their local stations weren't delivered by satellite. This is why Dish spent a lot of money and energy, and eventually dragged Direct TV along with them to Capital Hill, to get SHIVA passed (Direct TV finally saw the light and was key to getting the legislation passed). Offering LiL via satellite is without a doubt the primary reason satellite has become as hugely successful as it is today, along with the introduction of "Free/Leased Equipment" Cable TV business model first introduced to DBS by Charlie Ergan himself.

The law allowed, at first, for DBS to put up ABC, CBS, NBC, and FOX LiL's for viewing by subscribers, and Dish would have preferred that it stayed that way because of your very good point regarding the amount of bandwidht it takes to put up non-network locals. However, the law mandated that by January 1, 2002, Must Carry rules are in effect, meaning that DBS must provide all the local stations in any DMA where it provided even a single station. This part of the law was crammed in by the powerful NAB. (Local stations have the option of declaring "Must Carry" and must be provided by DBS, but the broadcaster receives no payment for retransmitting its signal, or they can choose to negotiate a price for DBS to pay to retransmit its signal to subscribers. If an agreement for payment cannot be reached, then DBS is NOT required to provide that local station).

The Must Carry rule meant that Dish and Direct had no choice but to allocate huge amounts of bandwidth just for LiL's. In fact, the primary purpose for Dish's 110 location was for local stations, almost exclusively, and it is still pretty much the case today, albeit with far more sophisticated satellites. Yes, almost an entire satellite's capacity just for LiL's. The recent spotbeam technology has helped tremendously to, not technically, but in effect increase bandwidth, or more accurately the more efficient use of the same bandwidth.

So, people want their locals and all the programming, even the infomercials and bad local news, sent up to the bird and bounced back to their dish at home. That's the way it is. Charlie and Direct have accepted it. I suppose we should, too.
 

8bitbytes

SatelliteGuys Pro
Sep 8, 2003
3,239
0
NoVA
For some strange, I can't really figure-out reason, every study and survey shows that people (current subs and potential subs) want their local channels via satellite. This preference was the case long before the DVR revolution. ...So, people want their locals and all the programming, even the infomercials and bad local news, sent up to the bird and bounced back to their dish at home. That's the way it is. Charlie and Direct have accepted it. I suppose we should, too.


It's not strange that a HUGE population of suburban and rural dwellers who are locked into a TV DMA that they cannot properly receive the OTA signals for on one of more channels would want those signals to be sent to them over satellite.

Primetime programming might be able to be fed by a national feed but there's a lot more to programming than that. Important to local programming:

Sports
Traffic
Weather
News
Sales
Special Events

Young people tend to not care about these things but the older more community-involved demographic with money to spend are more interested in everything local programming provides.
 

JonUrban

Supporting Founder
Supporting Founder
Sep 8, 2003
578
0
Eastern Connecticut
I wonder when one of the major networks will decide that it's more "cost effecive" to become a "channel" of its own and no longer need affiliates?

I mean, in the '50s, networks needed their signal to be broadcast and it was not practical for them to build a station in every city in the country, thus they needed to have stations that would put out their stuff.

Today, in a world where there is no "CNN affiliate", the network station is really no longer needed. There could be a CBS cable channel that showed their programming 24 hours a day, same for NBC, ABC and Fox. They keep the revenue, they set the schedule, and the heck with the local affiliate who decided to pre-empt their programming for a local advert/event.

This will happen someday, and with the "switch to digital" paving the way, all it will take is for one of them to do it and the rest will follow with haste.
 

JonUrban

Supporting Founder
Supporting Founder
Sep 8, 2003
578
0
Eastern Connecticut
Never gonna happen. Congress has already seen to that.

All they would have to do is cease operation and move programming to one of their cable channels. Something like this:

2010 CBS Launces a new cable/satellite channel "CBS Direct". They program shows they own and previous seasons of shows on the network.

2012 They start showing "original programming", exclusive to "CBS Direct"

2015 CBS decides to leave the broadcast business altogether. In doing so, they move their "network" shows to "CBS Direct".

So long local affiliates, and thanks for all the fish! :D More frequencies become available for cell phones! ;)

Congress could not do a thing about it. :D
 

TNGTony

Unashamed Bengal Fan
Sep 7, 2003
10,019
804
Cincinnati, Ohio, USA
It's not a matter of how the network could do it. The first part is already happening. NBC's programming ends up on USA, SciFi and Bravo within a week. CBS's programming ends up on Spike or one of several other within a week. ABC and Fox have slightly longer waiting periods, but they each have a slew of cable networks to work with.

If a network decided tomorrow to sell their signal directly to DirecTV and Dish, they probably could (or at least after the next round of affiliate contracts is updated).

What was meant that "congress took care of that" was the feeling that Congress protected the affiliate model enough that there is no need for the networks to go "direct"

See ya
Tony
 

DishSubLA

SatelliteGuys Master
Apr 9, 2006
5,318
1,172
It's not strange that a HUGE population of suburban and rural dwellers who are locked into a TV DMA that they cannot properly receive the OTA signals for on one of more channels would want those signals to be sent to them over satellite.

Primetime programming might be able to be fed by a national feed but there's a lot more to programming than that. Important to local programming:

Sports
Traffic
Weather
News
Sales
Special Events

Young people tend to not care about these things but the older more community-involved demographic with money to spend are more interested in everything local programming provides.

Very good point about rural folks, but I was surprised, and my point was, learning that just about everyone in the cities and burbs, quite close to the transmitters and already getting decent analog OTA (they had no clue about the superior digital LiL satellite provides) by far made up the huge numbers of those who want their locals on satellite. This is a key demand by just about everyone. And, yes, we all want to have access, whether we watch it or not, to all our junky locals programming, infomercials and all.
 

DishSubLA

SatelliteGuys Master
Apr 9, 2006
5,318
1,172
All they would have to do is cease operation and move programming to one of their cable channels. Something like this:

2010 CBS Launces a new cable/satellite channel "CBS Direct". They program shows they own and previous seasons of shows on the network.

2012 They start showing "original programming", exclusive to "CBS Direct"

2015 CBS decides to leave the broadcast business altogether. In doing so, they move their "network" shows to "CBS Direct".

So long local affiliates, and thanks for all the fish! :D More frequencies become available for cell phones! ;)

Congress could not do a thing about it. :D

In a way, they are already doing that now with Bravo airing an episode that premiered just the day before on the NBC broadcast network. They were doing this for The Apprentice and a few other NBC shows, especially the reality shows. ABC Family was doing the same thing.

The broadcast networks are terrified of their affiliates. Broadcast networks still get the highest numbers of people viewing, so a switch now to the channels that aren't broadcast would mean a dip in ad sales. That is why it won't happen soon, but perhaps not too long in the future.
 
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