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Interesting message scrolling across my TV last night - Dish owners take note!

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6 replies to this topic

#1 of 7 OFFLINE   Rob Varto

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Posted June 27 2002 - 12:12 AM

I'll start by saying I live in the metro Detroit area:

Im not sure where this came from, but last night as I was kind of / sort of watching American Idol on Fox, a message came scrolling across the bottom - bad weather warning style. It said (my best recollection): "Attention Dish owners, effective July 1, you may no longer be able to enjoy Fox quality shows like The Simpsons, Malcolm in the Middle, The Bernie Mac Show, American Idol, etc... Please call 1-800-556-FOX2 to voice your opinion."

So I called and I was greeted by a computerized voice saying that Dish Network may drop FOX as part of it's locals lineup July 1. It then attempted to patch me thru to a Dish Network customer care person, but they screwed up the instant dialing and instead I got a message that I "must first dial a 1 before placing this call".

Did anyone else see this? Is there a chance some Dish customers may lose Fox as part of it's broadcast coverage? I checked the website www.dishnetwork.com but there is no info available.
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#2 of 7 OFFLINE   Mark_B


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Posted June 27 2002 - 01:14 AM

I sense money is involved here. Someone's not getting enough. Anybody know the details? Listening to the recording, it doesn't sound like all of the affiliates, just certain ones. Mark

#3 of 7 OFFLINE   Scooter



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Posted June 27 2002 - 02:47 AM

This smells like the ABC fiasco on Warner (?) cable systems last year. Fees and such probably involved and a negociating ploy. It'll smooth out..FOX won't lose some 4 million customers.

#4 of 7 OFFLINE   Butch C

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Posted June 27 2002 - 07:53 AM

The FCC currently is trying to impose laws on the dish providers that state if they carry one local network from a region they must carry them all...this goes against this idea but the new law is a few months off...I have not seen anything in NY and i'm SURE I would have heared it...BTW that would only apply to YOUR FOX affiliate and not the Fox Network.

#5 of 7 OFFLINE   TonyL



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Posted June 27 2002 - 09:25 AM

I think this is a case of FOX wanted money (or more money) for Dish to carry it and Dish not wanted to pony up the dough. Butch C, there is already a law, The Satellite Home Viewer Improvement Act (SHVA/SHVIA), which was passed many years ago. It states that in any area where a satellite provider offers local-into-local service they must broadcast all local channels that wish to be carried and can provide a usable signal to the satellite provider. The "wish to be carried" part is the key. If FOX doesn't want to be carried then that is their choice.

#6 of 7 OFFLINE   Wayne Bundrick

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Posted June 27 2002 - 02:25 PM

As Tony said, the law already exists. Here's how it works: every couple of years each TV station has to elect one of two options. The first is called "Must Carry". If a station chooses Must Carry then cable and satellite companies are required to carry the signal. (With satellite it's only if the satellite company offers local channels from that market, it doesn't apply in any markets where the satellite company doesn't carry any at all. Satellite's variation of the rule is called "Carry One, Carry All".) But a station that chooses Must Carry does not get any kind of compensation. The other option is called "Retransmission Consent". With this, the station and the cable or satellite company have to negotiate a compensation deal and the cable/satellite company will have to pay something for the rights to carry the signal. That something could be money, but usually it is an agreement to also carry other channels affiliated with the TV station's corporate parent. But with the Retransmission Consent option, the cable/satellite company can refuse the proposed deal and just not carry the signal at all. These rules have been in effect for cable for quite a while, but you never heard about them because the negotiations always went more or less smoothly enough to ensure that disruptions in service weren't likely and so subscribers never even heard about it. But in the past few years the cable and satellite companies have started playing hard ball with the negotiations and using their subscribers as pawns.
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#7 of 7 OFFLINE   Mark_B


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Posted July 02 2002 - 02:35 AM

It looks like things will stay the same for a while.


Tuesday July 2, 6:04 am Eastern Time
EchoStar Reaches Broadcast Pact With Fox Network
By: Andy Pasztor, Staff Reporter of The Wall Street Journal

LOS ANGELES -- After marathon talks that went down to the wire, EchoStar Communications Corp. Tuesday said it reached an agreement to continue broadcasting Fox Network owned and operated stations in 21 cities.

A spokesman for EchoStar said the negotiations, which ended just before the1 a.m. Pacific time deadline, ended with a "multiyear agreement" to continue beaming those stations to viewers in Los Angeles , Denver , Philadelphia ,Atlanta and other cities. EchoStar had threatened to cut off the stations after a three- year pact was set to expire early Tuesday morning.

Other details of the new agreement weren't immediately available.

The talks had been closely watched by Wall Street analysts and others as an indication of the willingness of News Corp. Chairman Rupert Murdoch, who controls the Fox Network, to continue working with EchoStar Chairman Charlie Ergen. The two media moguls had a falling out after EchoStar bested News Corp. last year in a bitter battle to take over Hughes Electronics Corp.

The negotiations focused, in part, on EchoStar's willingness to also broadcast certain News Corp. controlled channels. A cutoff of those Fox owned and operated stations from EchoStar's direct-to-home satellite broadcast system would have made it more difficult for EchoStar to compete in those markets against cable television offerings, and Fox would have lost access to an important source of viewers for its stations.

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