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Retransmission consent vs must carry??

post #1 of 36
Thread Starter 
Would someone explain the difference between "retransmission consent" and "must carry" as far as it applies to cable TV?

Someone posted this link, but it didn't answer my question;
http://www.fcc.gov/mb/engineering/digital.html
post #2 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by videobruce View Post

Would someone explain the difference between "retransmission" and "must carry" as far as it applies to cable TV?

Someone posted this link, but it didn't answer my question;
http://www.fcc.gov/mb/engineering/digital.html

"Retransmission" is what happens when the cable company wants to carry a channel but the channel owner wants money (or something else valuable) in exchange for his consent. "Must Carry" is what happens when the cable company doesn't want to carry the channel (maybe because few people will watch it) but the channel owner wants to be on cable even without payment.

Notice a pattern here? What the channel owner wants trumps what the cable company wants.
post #3 of 36
A TV station has the option of demanding carriage (must carry status) on cable systems in it's designated market area. This is a safety net for stations that cable operators might pass on otherwise, religious, spanish, shopping, etc. There is no consideration afforded the station for carriage.

A larger station can opt for retransmission consent status where the cable system must satisy the station's demands for the privelege of carrying it.

There are of course arguments on both sides of the fence as to whether or not the system is fair. And it always seems to boil down to the "who needs who more".
post #4 of 36
If a local station invokes "must-carry", the cable company must carry the channel on its basic tier. Alternatively, the station may negotiate terms for carriage - however, if the cable company does not agree to the terms, they are under no obligation to carry the channel.
post #5 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by oxothuk View Post

Notice a pattern here? What the channel owner wants trumps what the cable company wants.

Not exactly. The local stations provide their signal free OTA to the public and required to satisfy a number of regulatory requirements in order to serve the public good. The cable companies have to offer space for those local channels, but get those channels free of charge.

The only time a cable company has to spend a dime for any of that programming is if they agree on the value of that programming. As a result, the only time what the station owner wants "trumps" what the cableco wants is when the station owner wants to give away his programming for free.
post #6 of 36
Thread Starter 
Wow, really fast response.

The term "retransmission" is really confusing and incorrect if the station receives $$ instead of coverage. Isn't the term "retransmission" what a cable company is doing by carrying them on their system?? IOWs', both terms to me have the same meaning. I would think either "retransmission non-consent" or "non-retransmission consent" would make more sense.

I understood the difference, it was just their (FCC) choice of the term. Nothing unusual for the FCC of course.
post #7 of 36
Really it's the same term for both. By invoking must-carry, the station is granting retransmission consent. If they don't invoke must-carry, they must agree on terms in order to receive consent for retransmission.

Either way, the MSO must have consent to retransmit a local station's signal.
post #8 of 36
Thread Starter 
Not to get too far off the topic, in that link this appears;
Quote:


The Report and Order finds that digital television signals must be available to subscribers on a basic service tier.

The term "basic" doesn't say analog basic or digital basic. I would/could take that to mean either and so would/could the cable operator.

I have seen a couple of posts where members couldn't receive their OTA digital locals "in the clear" on their cable system. They were there, but were encrypted. What is the general consensus of you guys regarding if a cable operator actually has to have those stations available non-encrypted??
post #9 of 36
Thread Starter 
Quote:


Really it's the same term for both.

Yea, that's my point, it's misleading.
post #10 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by videobruce View Post

Not to get too far off the topic, in that link this appears; The term "basic" doesn't say analog basic or digital basic. I would/could take that to mean either and so would/could the cable operator.

I have seen a couple of posts where members couldn't receive their OTA digital locals "in the clear" on their cable system. They were there, but were encrypted. What is the general consensus of you guys regarding if a cable operator actually has to have those stations available non-encrypted??

Cablecos have different policies. For example, my cableco transmits the digital channels with any basic subscription and if you have a QAM tuner, you can get them at no additional charge. However, if you do not have a QAM tuner, you cannot rent their HD capable box unless you have a $65-$70 digital cable package.
post #11 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by videobruce View Post

Yea, that's my point, it's misleading.

Not to the parties involved with the process.

Although, legislation geared to the public is generally no more clear.
post #12 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by CPanther95 View Post

As a result, the only time what the station owner wants "trumps" what the cableco wants is when the station owner wants to give away his programming for free.

Well, I don't think the cableco's WANT to pay the CBS affiliate to carry the same signal which is available over the air for free. And that CBS affiliate is subject to the same public service obligations as the ShopAtHome channel.
post #13 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by oxothuk View Post

Well, I don't think the cableco's WANT to pay the CBS affiliate to carry the same signal which is available over the air for free.

Then they don't have to. They can decide if what they will profit from that retransmission makes it worth the carriage fee. If they are profitting from the programming owned by that station, there's no reason the owner shouldn't be compensated. If they don't make any money, or gain any value from that signal, then they shouldn't mind not carrying it.
post #14 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by CPanther95 View Post

Then they don't have to. They can decide if what they will profit from that retransmission makes it worth the carriage fee. If they are profitting from the programming owned by that station, there's no reason the owner shouldn't be compensated. If they don't make any money, or gain any value from that signal, then they shouldn't mind not carrying it.

It is the asymmetry of the relationship that bothers me. And if I made a business out of going into McDonald's, buying value meals, and delivering them to some office - should McDonald's have the right to charge me extra because I am "profiting" from their product? Should Ford get a cut from people who turn Econoline vans into RVs?
post #15 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by oxothuk View Post

And that CBS affiliate is subject to the same public service obligations as the ShopAtHome channel.

No, the ShopAtHome channel IS NOT under the same obligations as an OTA broadcaster. As a matter of fact, SAH has NO public service obligations except to make money. Period. The OTA broadcaster on the other hand has a litany of items the FCC has handed down through the years that they have to broadcast whether they are on cable or not AND document same AND retain same for a period of the license term or they lose their license. That is why stations are required by law to have a Public File and make it available to the public during normal business hours or the FCC will fine a station. And the FCC takes the Public File issue VERY seriously. That is one of the things a station can really get racked over the coals for it not done correctly.

The difference is SAH doesn't use public airwaves and the OTA broadcaster does.
post #16 of 36
Thread Starter 
What I don't get is why wouldn't a cable operator not want local stations on his system? It adds more value and no real expensive equipment is needed (compared to satellite). On the other side, it's a benefit for the station owner, as in more viewers, meaning more ad revenue.


I think I opened up a can of worms............
post #17 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by oxothuk View Post

It is the asymmetry of the relationship that bothers me. And if I made a business out of going into McDonald's, buying value meals, and delivering them to some office - should McDonald's have the right to charge me extra because I am "profiting" from their product? Should Ford get a cut from people who turn Econoline vans into RVs?

If you are purchasing value meals from McDonalds then you have both already agreed on the price. Only you can decide if the money you make delivering those meals are worth the cost.

Same with Ford - once you buy the van, you can do what you want with it. If Ford decides to hand out vans to 1000 needy people, you can't expect an endless supply of free vans for you to sell to other people.
post #18 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by foxeng View Post

No, the ShopAtHome channel IS NOT under the same obligations as an OTA broadcaster.

In my area the ShopAtHome channel does (or did) broadcast OTA, and that was my point of reference. I probably should have used another example like Trinity or Daystar.
post #19 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by CPanther95 View Post

If you are purchasing value meals from McDonalds then you have both already agreed on the price. Only you can decide if the money you make delivering those meals are worth the cost.

Same with Ford - once you buy the van, you can do what you want with it. If Ford decides to hand out vans to 1000 needy people, you can't expect an endless supply of free vans for you to sell to other people.

It seems to me like the OTA broadcasters have decided on a price for their signal - ZERO - and they put that signal out for anyone who wants it at that price. Anyone except cable subscribers, that is.
post #20 of 36
Not at all. Cable subscribers can also get them for free OTA. It's the nature of intellectual property - just as you can't purchase a DVD and legally burn 5000 copies for resale - you also can't acquire that signal for free OTA, then package and resell it. At least, not without coming to terms with the rights owner.
post #21 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by CPanther95 View Post

Not at all. Cable subscribers can also get them for free OTA. It's the nature of intellectual property - just as you can't purchase a DVD and legally burn 5000 copies for resale - you also can't acquire that signal for free OTA, then package and resell it. At least, not without coming to terms with the rights owner.

Not the same thing, IMHO - but we've had this debate before on other threads.

But we did answer the original poster's question, right?
post #22 of 36
I forget - what was the question? Maybe we can now discuss a la carte.
post #23 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by oxothuk View Post

Not the same thing, IMHO - but we've had this debate before on other threads.

According to the legally executed contracts between the content providers and the networks and their affiliates, it IS the same thing and if you don't believe me, try it and see how fast they have you in court on copyright violation. That is EXACTLY what got E* in the DNS mess it is in now.
post #24 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by oxothuk View Post

In my area the ShopAtHome channel does (or did) broadcast OTA, and that was my point of reference. I probably should have used another example like Trinity or Daystar.

Those wouldn't be better examples, since they are also available via OTA broadcast in a number of markets. Locally (Dallas/Ft Worth), Daystar in on broadcast channel 2 and TBN on 58. In my parent's neck of the woods (Seattle/Tacoma), they're on channels 56 and 20, respectively.

TBN has been around as a broadcast network going back into the seventies, and Daystar is growing its number of stations at a pretty steady rate.
post #25 of 36
Here is my two cents on it

a)IMHO if a system has consent to retransmit the SD signal of a broadcast channel,they should also automatically have consent to retransmit the HD channel at NO extra charge.

b)A cable system that commits to carry all local broadcast channels should IMHO give the stations a "must consent" (Some channels have a must carry,cable systems can do a must allow to carry
post #26 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by chitchatjf View Post

Here is my two cents on it

a)IMHO if a system has consent to retransmit the SD signal of a broadcast channel,they should also automatically have consent to retransmit the HD channel at NO extra charge.

And you base that opinion on what?

Quote:


b)A cable system that commits to carry all local broadcast channels should IMHO give the stations a "must consent" (Some channels have a must carry,cable systems can do a must allow to carry

Not the way the law is written.
post #27 of 36
Broadcast stations should be allowed to charge cablecos to retransmit.
Broadcast stations shoud not be allowed to force cablecos to retransmit.

Unfortunately, the one with the most lobbyists (the broadcasters) wins.
post #28 of 36
Thread Starter 
Too many hands in the pot.
post #29 of 36
Poor kids get free lunches (and, in some cases, breakfast) at school.

Now that they have set a precedent, schools should feed everyone in town for nothing .
post #30 of 36
Might as well.

Broadcasters are getting a free lunch.
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