[mythtv-users] OT: cable TV moving broadcast channel to digital tier?

R. G. Newbury newbury at mandamus.org
Wed Jul 22 03:15:51 UTC 2009

On 07/21/2009 10:50 PM, Brian Wood wrote:
> On Tuesday 21 July 2009 20:13:45 Marc Barrett wrote:
>> There are two public TV stations in this area, and my local
>> cable TV company recently moved one of them to the digital-only
>> tier, so that station is not available to someone who has
>> "basic" or "extended basic" cable.  (That is, cable without a
>> set-top box)  I was under the impression that this is illegal,
>> that cable TV companies can't move "local" or "broadcast"
>> channels to a digital-only tier.  Am I wrong in this?
> I understood that if a station was available off-air in the market they had to
> make it available somehow, perhaps even by supplying a box for free.
> I think there are exceptions though, is the station in question a full-power
> station? Is it "significantly viewed" by people with antennas?
> A staton can request must carry status, or demand retransmission fees, if it
> chooses the latter the cable company does not have to carry them at all, and
> in fact may not carry them, if an agreement can't be reached.
> So you are correct in most cases, but there could be circumstances that make
> it allowable, or even mandated. It's dangerous to generalize without knowing
> the details.

I looked this up some time ago in the US Consolidated Federal 
Regulations. The results are in the archive at gossamer threads. Search 
on 'Newbury' and 'CFR' and you should find the thread (maybe more than 
one). (IIRC, Brian was there too!).

But basically, IIRC, local broadcast stations are 'must-carry' (with 
limited exceptions) and must be provided 'in-clear' on the basic setup. 
As it reads, there appear to be no exceptions to that bit, but I suspect 
that the cableco can give you a STB to meet that requirement.


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          I may wish to offend you again in the future.

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