[opendtv] Re: Must carry fiasco

  • From: Bob Miller <bob@xxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: opendtv@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Tue, 22 Mar 2005 16:50:12 -0500

John Willkie wrote:

>Bob, bob. bob, you ignorant sl**.
>First up, there is no must carry for LPTV, so this is somebody whining about
>the terms for may carry.  Let me get out the world's smallest violin.
I know there is no must carry for LPTV. This particular LPTV station 
obviously negotiated for carriage of their programming. They have been 
cut off by their cable company after they tried to get must carry though 
the back door, local franchise negotiations. Maybe they were trying to 
get out from paying for carriage though she doesn't say. They do not 
have a way of being received OTA by their customers with NTSC or ATSC. 
ATSC since they can not even apply for digital yet for LPTV. Maybe in a 
month or so and NTSC because as we know most people have given up on NTSC.

If we had adopted COFDM in 2000 this station would have a congregation 
most of whom would have an OTA receiver and if not they could pick one 
up for $35.

>Just what prevents this broadcaster from transmitting in COFDM?  NOT the FCC!  
>(LPTV stations are licensed to use the channel envelope, not a
>particular modulation system; 8-VSB was explicitly permitted for LPTV 
>broadcasters BEFORE it was permitted for full service broadcasters.
News to me. I have been at the FCC to let LPTV stations go digital since 
the summer of 1999. The chief architect, writer, of such rules told us 
that the rules would be done by Christmas and could include the use of 
COFDM. Then came Sinclair and everything stopped. NO COFDM, NO RULES 
till last fall. Now we have rules and NO COFDM. Explanation, "What if 
some small city somewhere relies on an LPTV station as its sole TV 
signal? They would have to buy another receiver for COFDM. I did not 
have the presence of mind to say that if they only had one TV station 
they would only need one modulation.

>What prevents them from broadcasting in COFDM is the lack of receivers. What 
>makes them interested in cable carriage is the large numbers of viewers on 
>cable who otherwise are not available to off the air broadcast.
True but it would be nice to fall back on the OTA and if everyone had 
easy inexpensive plug and play OTA the cable company would be the one 
begging for content.

>They're complaining about hoops.  Gee, whiz.  When I was running an LPTV 
>station, I was being held up for $1MM to be carried by one cable system.
Maybe they are also.

>There are only one or two insurance companies in the U.S. that provide 
>broadcast insurance.  Them being suprised that the cable company would insist 
>on this for a non-must carry station is a "duh" kind of a thing.
I think the cable system was probably charging them for carriage without 
the insurance demand but with a fee. When the LPTV tried to get a local 
must carry by including the deal in the local franchise negotiations and 
probably getting the fee eliminated the cable company went ballistic and 
used the insurance bit as a club.

>Also, I note that they mention the Easter week.  I'm a full supporter of the 
>first amendment (even for indecent material), but Texas and the world have 
>more god-casters than are needed.
Totally agree. My wife will not step a foot in Texas for political and 
religious reason and she has never been there. Even tried to entice her 
once with the story they had the best steaks in Texas. Personally I had 
one of the worst steaks once in Texas. I like Texas and Tex Mex food.

Would like to know more about this envelope thing instead of a 
particular modulation. My first visit to the FCC on the subject they 
said that LPTV stations were given more leniency than full power. I kept 
hammering them with " if they cannot by definition interfere with 
anybody what does it matter what modulation they use? " to no avail. The 
excuse above was what I got last year after the rules came out. That 
poor little town with only one LPTV station.

Bob Miller

>John Willkie
>----- Original Message ----- 
>From: "Bob Miller" <bob@xxxxxxxxxx>
>To: <opendtv@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
>Sent: Tuesday, March 22, 2005 11:37 AM
>Subject: [opendtv] Must carry fiasco
>>from LPTV list server today...
>>We are in the fight of our existance.  Yesterday Time WArner cut us off
>>the air.  When we began our quest to find support for us during the
>>city's franchise negotiations, Time Warner came out fighting and slammed
>>us with quite a few hoops to jump through.  We successfully jumped
>>through all of them except for the million dollar broadcast liability
>>insurance.  We only found one out of state insurer, hartford, who will
>>give us insurance for $5,000, but we cannot possibly afford that, so
>>they cut us off. This is Easter Week, and our churches have several
>>meaningful services that they want us to air this week, and it is
>>especially sad for those at home who cannot get to their churches. Does
>>anyone have an insurance source who is cheaper than $5,000?  The company
>>has to be licensed in Texas.... Or can anyone give us a good reason for
>>why what they are asking for is unreasonable?  I doubt they require
>>proof of insurance for other full service stations they are carrying,
>>but how can I find that out?
>>Mary Silver
>>Wouldn't it be nice if this broadcasters viewers could receive using a
>>COFDM receiver at $35 in a convenience store? And they could diminish
>>their dependence on cable?
>>Bob Miller

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