Week of 28 December 2009
Sorry for snoozing. I went off and did some other non-satellite things, took a break, if you will. But I will be back making updates.
Two Months of Uplinks: A Summary
22 October: Big 72.7 shuffle.
28-29 October: Honolulu makes its HD presence felt and KTBY Anchorage is also uplinked in HD. WAGV Harlan, KY (which has been on and off Dish with signal issues) is uplinked. Detroit leaves 118.7. KRCW, KONG, and KMYQ HD, as well as KUNW SD, are turned on. WTXX and WDCW HD added. Miami circa 1995 repeats itself in another tropical locale: Honolulu. KGMB goes from 9 to 5, KFVE goes from 5 to 9 (sadly, KNIN is already taken).
4 November: Evansville and Bluefield-Beckley uplinked! Raleigh leaves 118.7!
11 November: Hawaii is on the air! A new international: FTVTW 703!
18 November: You want to be sad? Then head on over - oh wait, that's probably KOSA-DT, their MyNetworkTV subchannel. EPIX appears in engineering! VKAIR and PEOPL internationals appear on 785 and 786! WZMQ (Fox Marquette) available! WNOL HD available!
2 December: KWYB-DT in HD (Fox) uplinked! KHOG Fayetteville, KUSG St. George, UT available! KTUU HD available! And Wells Fargo TV gets a name that doesn't have any Orlando connotations.
9 December: VERIA gone! WAGV actually available (if you like religion).
16 December: WPGA added. (This is an odd one, and I'm actually saving it for its own section.) KEYE-DT2 (Telemundo) uplinked. KNDX (North Dakota Fox) available.
Macon' Waves: ABC in Middle Georgia
WPGA-TV channel 58 is leaving ABC. There are two motives to this odd disaffiliation: racy (especially in regards to the LGBT community) programming that's not liked by WPGA's family ownership. That and ABC wants payment...lots of money, that is. (That's why family-owned stations are sadly dead ducks - we used to have a major one here in Phoenix but they actually left broadcasting a decade ago.) ABC is moving to WGXA-DT2 "ABC 16". WPGA, if you'll notice, was added to 110. Could a retrans showdown be coming that by the time Dish drops WPGA, it won't have any value to most Macon market TV viewers? The big focus will be "when is WGXA-DT2 coming out on Dish?". WPGA will be an RTV affiliate, but Macon Dish people may want to get an OTA tuner and a good set of rabbit ears (with a loop) if they want ABC or RTV come 2010.
Week of 19 October 2009
Raleigh's moving off 118.7.
KDAF came in HD, and a surprise for Spokane: KLEW, CBS in Lewiston, Idaho, made its debut. No HD quite yet.
Eight new HD TMP channels on 119 tp 10.
Week of 12 October 2009
KRCW, KONG, and KMYQ HD are coming for Portland and Seattle HD subscribers, respectively. They were uplinked today.
Detroit locals are heading off of 118.7.
Adult channel shuffle and removal: Real goes from 494 to 492; XTSY goes from 496 to 498; Playboy moves from 497 to 489, and Playboy E moved from 498 to 487. TEEZ, PENT, JENNA, and XCESS were removed, and Hustler HD; JUICY; and RKTV were added.
One new international: JAYA 792. What is this channel?
Nimiq 5 was turned on today. Eastern Arc operations on transponders 1, 5, 9, 13, 17, 21, 25, and 29 were moved to that satellite, with more coming tonight.
There was a Charlie Chat last night (nothing new) and a Retailer Chat (very little new) today. As of November 3, NBA TV will be in the AT200 package; on November 11, Paducah and the Quad Cities will launch from 77; and the following Wednesday, Evansville will join the party. Yes, that's it.
Week of 5 October 2009
Sorry for not posting an Uplink Report Highlights yesterday...
Here are the news highlights:
Dish is now the official satellite partner of the PBR bull riding tour. Most of their TV events are on Versus, which explains some of the PBR's motives for going with Dish.
The uplink report today had some goodies for a few people but was largely a maintenance uplink.
Several calls changes: WEVU to WLZE and K20HB to KBGS. The first one is merely a shift of using calls from one translator of WUVF-CA to another.
KDAF HD will be coming soon...the unavailable version was uplinked today.
Rejoice, Cedar Rapids! In an out-of-the-blue move, KCRG and Dish struck a deal, and the ABC affiliate has launched on Dish.
Week of 28 September 2009
We were fooled! No retrans dispute ever happened with HGTV. Sorry, guys.
News dump: 2002 claims from Acacia Media Technologies over streaming were invalidated by a federal judge; WildBlue will be acquired for $568 million by ViaSat; a hearing date was set for October 7 in the Senate to discuss the SHVDTA reauthorization; and moving ESPNU, according to ESPN, was not related to its pending lawsuit with the company.
ESPNU moved down to 100, and Dish Twitter hinted that its HD counterpart is in testing there. An ESPN alternate was removed to move ESPNU to channel 141.
Channel renames: Noggin to Nick Jr., The N to TeeNICK, and BET Jazz to Centric. Local KHCV-Seattle became KPST. All these happened on Monday.
The Scripps Networks Interactive thing, dismissed earlier as fake, is real. Two FTA channels have appeared just in the last hour touting the unreasonable demands SNI is placing on Dish. Five channels will be affected: HGTV, Food Network, DIY, FLN, and GAC. Their mailing address is P.O. Box 51850, Knoxville, TN 37950. Attn: Brooke Johnson or Attn: Jim Samples will speed up the process (those are the presidents of Food Network and HGTV, respectively.
Various HD channels were added to, of all places, the upper 60xx range.
New local: KUNW 9374. It's the Univision affiliate for Yakima, Washington. KDCU was made available in Wichita today as well.
Cleanout from a while back: two Dish dealers will pay almost $1.3 million in an FTC settlement. They are doing this to assuage charges that they violated the Do Not Call registry.
A crawl began running last night on Food Network and HGTV reading "Attention Dish Network Subscribers. Starting tonight, you will be losing two of you favorite channels. HGTV and Food Network. Don't miss...." (it actually cut off like that at first). The scrolls link to two identical sites now, I Love HGTV and I Love Food Network. Neither site has information on any retransmission consent dispute of yet. Consider as well that the end of the third business quarter for many is today, and so tomorrow could v ery well be the beginning of a dispute involving as many as five channels - HGTV, Food Network, DIY, FLN, and GAC. (E.W. Scripps Company local stations and newspapers split from these networks, now their own company (Scripps Networks Interactive), so your local Scripps-owned station will not be affected.) Tweets have been sent out to the official Twitter accounts of HGTV and Food Network to confirm.
It was announced today that ESPNU would be moving to the Bronze 100 tier. Wide suspicion commences on the addition of the HD feed.
Week of 21 September 2009
Uneventful uplink report with little items of interest to Dish subs.
Retailer Chat! The Quad Cities and Paducah at the end of the month. Evansville joins in the party November 18. 501/508/510 units will no longer have VOD due to low usage. Prepaid update: FlexTV is imminent. No hardware needs to be converted. DishNow cards expire at the end of October and are no longer sold.
Technical update: DishComm is now working for all ViP models, which will now show both TV and MPAA ratings soon and get faster ITV applications soon.
Week of 14 September 2009
Dish will use all of Nimiq-5, which launched successfully yesterday. Another satellite will be launched in 2010 for Bell TV, one of two Canadian satellite providers. (72.7 is a Canadian slot, like 129.)
Followup to Wednesday's WFTV uplink: the WF stands for Wells Fargo and is a private business channel for their use.
Bizarre activity to lead off the Uplink Report Highlights for today: a "WFTV" was added on 121 in the business range. It's probably not the Orlando TV station, either.
All the HD locals either were made available or will be made available in a separate uplink to follow. KBNT and WLVT also came to Dish today along with WLUC-Fox.
KKYK and KPBI have exited Dish. These Little Rock stations are owned by the Bank of Little Rock and Pinnacle Media, respectively, after their former owner Equity Media went into superliquidation mode.
The Setanta Sports freeview ended.
The SHVURA, which updates and reauthorizes SHVERA, has been passed through the House Judiciary Committee 34 to nothing. It must go to the full House and then into conference to reconcile differences with its Senate counterpart.
Nimiq 5 is heading to 72.7 West after tomorrow's launch - check in on mission control.
Praise the Lord! Six HD locals are launching tomorrow! This includes WTVC/WWMT/WPEC from Freedom; WICU Erie, PA (owned by SJL Broadcast Management); and most importantly, WBNS and WTHR! And no, your eyes are not fooling you. In fact, no large retransmission consent or HD contract update gaps currently exist that affect more than three stations.
Via the SatelliteGuys Twitter account: Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-VT) is introducing the Satellite Television Modernization Act.
The NOTAX channel on Dish has flickered on and off in the last few days, and now we know why. Michigan lawmakers want to add a 5% tax to satellite bills.
A House Judiciary Committee draft of the SHVERA bill (now the SHVDTA, or Satellite Home Viewer Digital Television Act) could bring Dish back to distant networks if it carries all 210 TV markets. (Yes, that's you, Glendive.) See here.
Week of 7 September 2009
The uplink will happen tomorrow, but here's a preview from Dish's HD Tuesday on Wednesday:
Rejoice! WRGB, KFDM, and WLAJ HD have arrived, and WGBC-Fox will be remapped to 31 from 49.
Red Zone is available with a barker with information on it.
Week of 31 August 2009
WLUC-DT2 and KTVL-DT2 (Fox and CW, respectively) were uplinked today.
From yesterday: due to the DirecTV and Versus dispute, Versus is in freeview on Dish for three months.
The local avalanche arrived today, with KVER, XHAS, WVLT-DT2, KIMA-DT2, WQOW, and Casper on 119 being turned on.
Cable has added a $50 "dish grounding inspection fee" in Omaha, Nebraska; Cox, the incumbent, is rumored to have asked the city council to do it.
Week of 24 August 2009
Come on, Casper: the Casper locals are being added to 119.
KDCU (Univision Wichita), WWMT-DT2 (CW), and WRGB HD were uplinked, as was WQOW. The middle two signal the end of the Freedom Wars. (That's right, they made peace.) Until WRGB HD comes out into the sunlight, it'll be on our retrans list.
Rejoice! KOCB, KSMO, KVCW (all in HD) and WABI-DT2 came on Dish today.
Dish won a $97 million settlement against Freetech, a reseller of Dish pirating devices.
WXIN is apparently listed as off air on Dish according to a new mail at the tipline. I have tweeted their Twitter account to ask for comment and will email station management if no info is provided.
More Indianapolis news: as stated earlier, WTHR and WBNS's contract expires in under a week. Call (614) 460-3700 (the number for the offices of Dispatch Broadcast Group, their owners) and ask for Dish and Dispatch to strike a deal.
Today was a special retailer chat which just confirmed the launch of NFL RedZone, mainly.
TP 12 on E*3 at 61.5 failed. Its contents moved to another transponder over the weekend.
Week of 17 August 2009
Changes are afoot in Hawai'i's television landscape, and they will affect the order of channels and what programs they carry.
KHNL-NBC 8 recently entered into a news share agreement with KGMB-CBS 9. KHNL, along with KFVE-MyTV 5, is owned by Raycom Media. In addition, KGMB and KFVE are going to do what I call "pulling a WTVJ" and "pulling a WJXX" at once. What does THAT mean?
The first reference dates back to the fall of 1995. WTVJ, then channel 4/NBC in Miami, Florida, swapped with WCIX, then CBS on channel 6. The result: WTVJ moved to channel 6 as NBC 6, WCIX became WFOR channel 4 and still was CBS. WTVJ at the time was severely handicapped because of inherent signal spacing issues on channel 6.
The second happened at the end of the 1990s. Allbritton Communications, which had just scored a group affiliation deal with ABC, now owns WJXX-25 in Jacksonville. In 2000, Gannett (owners of WTLV-12, NBC) buys WJXX (which wasn't a top 4 station in the market at the time). WTLV and WJXX consolidated news departments (mainly at WJXX's expense) to create "First Coast News".
In Hawai'i, this means two things. The first is that KFVE's callsign, affiliation, programs, and more move to 9. There will also likely be a callsign change (KFVE channel 9 isn't right. See WCIX.) KGMB will move to channel 5 with its entire programs and news schedule. Importantly, the ownership does not change, so Raycom owns KGMB-5 and the current channel 9 owners own the new KFVE-9. The second is that KGMB's news department is mostly sent to the beach and KGMB takes over KHNL's news department (the capital management company that owns KGMB will run the new news department). All three stations will share channel 8's technical facilities.
In short: there'll be one less news department in Hawai'i, CBS will be on 5, and MyTV will be on 9.
In addition, a correction to Wednesday's Uplink Report Highlights. WJMN/CBS 3 was made available in Marquette, Michigan. It was not turned on with the rest of the market's locals.
Rejoice, Lima, Columbus-Tupelo, Alexandria, South Bend, Springfield MO, and more! HD locals (Schurz Communications - and in Tupelo's case, a full launch with all Big Four) and SD locals have arrived. And a new slate of locals is coming soon...
Schurz has started a full rollout on Dish, with KYTV, WSBT, and KSPR being the first to launch. WDBJ is already available. This disqualifies Schurz from the retrans consent noticeboard. Other Schurz stations are likely to follow - watch the Twitter HD Tuesdays.
XHAS San Diego is the Telemundo affiliate for that market. As the X in its calls suggest, it is Mexican. Uplinked but unavailable.
KMCC Las Vegas also came to the Dish air today. It is a Spanish-language independent.
WLVT is a secondary PBS in Philadelphia licensed to Allentown.
WVLT-DT2 and KIMA-DT2 are coming soon to Dish. These subchannels are MyNetworkTV and The CW, respectively. WVLT's website reports a September 2 launch date for its MyNetworkTV subchannel.
DAWN channel 748, an international, was added. What is this channel?
Fuel moved to 156, and the Sirius demo channel moved to 165. 154 is NFL Network, and the NFL's new RedZone channel (click for more info) is launching September 13. It is not related to DirecTV's Red Zone Channel, and any video provider that can carry the mothership can carry the RedZone channel.
Setanta Sports entered into a free preview. Dish Twitter says that the preview runs to September 16.
News cleaning: Dish filed for a $1 billion debt offering.
It's a programming dispute, but it ain't Dish: DirecTV is fighting Versus on the retrans ice.
Week of 10 August 2009
Rejoice! Hawai'i's KHNL hit the HD air today, and more to come: WSJV, WGEM, KSMO (MNTV), KVCW, KOCB, and WKOW were added today. Yes, this includes a few non-Big Fours, and yes, it's Dish Network's Quincy Newspapers Day.
WVFX's mapping moved from 46 to 10 (RF DTV channel).
WABI-DT2 (CW Bangor) is now uplinked; WOAC is now WRLM and the guide name changed accordingly.
Dish earnings came out Monday, and they beat the Street, gaining 26,000 new subs at higher sub acquisition costs accompanying an 81% drop in net income.
Week of 3 August 2009
Wednesday: Uplink Report Highlights
On Monday, all but one of the channels withheld from the PR launch last week launched. The additional channel was added today.
Several Birmingham-OKC-Tulsa HD channels were removed from 119.
The MPEG4 SD version of WATL, already unavailable, was removed.
The remaining UP uplink channels were removed from Ciel 2 today.
TVASA entered free-preview mode.
TVONE 904 became available. Content is unknown though international.
Two guide changes: SWEET became Shell's LF1 (9645/99, the commercial channel) and HNN (presumably standing for Headline News Network) became HLN, which is now the channel's full name.
Rejoice, Medford, Oregon! KTVL HD turned on today in a miracle of Freedom Communications. I called it first: the next few HD Tuesdays will contain the rest of the Freedom Communications HD chain. (Get those party supplies, WPB, west Michigan and Lansing, Albany, Beaumont, and Chattanooga!)
ESPN is fighting back against the Dishney (get it?) lawsuit in Manhattan federal court right now.
Tuesday: Court Watch
No HD Tuesday at all, but Dish is going to court with Disney over violation of a most-favored-nations clause in its contract with ESPN. Dish wants $1 million in damages saying that Comcast and DirecTV were given better deals for ESPN Classic and ESPNU.
Dish and Bell ExpressVu, the Canadian satellite company that uses much of the same equipment and systems as Dish for the Canadian market, came together to shut down two piracy-related websites related to legal action.
The U.S. Patent Office has rejected two claims in TiVo's "time warp" DVR patent. The preliminary finding on U.S. patent 6,233,389 shows that earlier patents by Philips and iMedia made the same claims - and they came first.
The removal of Google Voice-related applications from Apple's App Store triggered an FCC investigation into why applications were denied. Other apps were forced to become WiFi-only (Gizmodo and other tech sites I read complain that AT&T's network is pretty shaky), like EchoStar's very own SlingPlayer app for the iPhone. EchoStar released a statement saying it was "encouraged" by the inquiry.
Week of 27 July 2009
As of 30 July 2009, Dish Network is no longer a member of the BBB. It also is listed as having an F rating, including more than 13,000 complaints, government action, and BBB's issues with advertising.
It is official: 148 is no more.
148 West is one of EchoStar's oldest satellite slots. EchoStar I and II together created a 32-transponder space at that location. Last year, EchoStar II died; and this year, EchoStar V, which replaced the dead Echo II and an Echo I on the move to Eastern Arc, is going to be deorbited on Monday. It turned out to not have enough fuel to keep going.
Dish Network, at the behest of the copyright gargoyles that are the movie studios, will be adding HDCP copy protection. Some customers will be unable to watch PPV movies on their older setups.
Five channels for Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands were put on hold with no new launch date announced.
Not actual Dish news but important satellite community news. John H., who had provided uplink reports to DBSTalk, was injured in an accident. On Tuesday, DBSTalk head administrator Chris Blount made a statement, which we quote:
"...JohnH is fine. He was never really in bad health but he needed to make some changes in his life and has moved on. He no longer owns satellite equipment or a computer so the uplink reports are pretty much at an end..."
SatelliteGuys continues to provide weekly uplink reports.
Wednesday: Uplink Report Highlights
Rapid City and Casper locals moved from 148 to 119.
Rejoice, Denver, Sioux City, Cedar Rapids, Rockford, Quincy, Rio Grande Valley, Puerto Rico, and Montana! You got new locals, and all but Montana and PR got them in HD too! KTIV, KWWL, WREX, KRGV, KTVD, and KHQA-DT2 have joined the HD party, and the Max Media Fox subchannels and WCCV came in SD. Also of note is that KWWL is another Quincy Newspapers station, further proof that the two have reached a deal.
Rejoice, Puerto Rico! You got your HD channels today in your big rollout.
New locals are a-comin': WATL HD (Gannett MNTV Atlanta) and KMCC (Las Vegas Spanish independent) are both in the wings. Because KTVD and WATL are now on Dish HD, it is clear that Gannett and Dish have struck a new retransmission consent deal that includes the non-Big Four stations Gannett owns.
KQFX had its mapping changed from 38 to 22 at last. The channel now is digital on RF 22 (went from analog 38/digital 17.2 to digital 22.1/17.2) and changed its branding to suit. KQFX is also now a set of official call letters.
Much of today's update is backlogged news.
The one new news item: KHQA-DT2, WREX, and KTIV are coming in HD tomorrow in the Twitter HD Tuesday. Between last week and this week, it is clear that Dish and Quincy Newspapers have reached an agreement in retransmission consent talks. Also reported by WQOW, sister to Quincy's WXOW, was that both stations would be carried by no later than the first of October.
The split market bill was introduced in the House.
AT&T lost 100,000 Dish subs and gained 100,000 DirecTV subs because of their great switch.
Week of 20 July 2009
A channel called GRMSP was added to 610. What's there? Please let me know via the tip line or Twitter.
The promised channels for PR were added to the skies today.
KTVD HD and Victoria, TX SD were added. This would make Denver the first market with six HD locals. The Victoria stations are KAVU-ABC, KMOL-NBC, and KVCT-Fox. The market does not have a CBS.
Rejoice! WPHL and KBTV HD were turned on today per yesterday's HD Tuesday.
HD channels are on the move. A select number of channels will move from 129 to 110 and 61.5 to 77.
Three HD sports channel feeders (two on 129 and one on 61.5) were added. Speculation between this move and the HD moves is that full-time regional sports networks are coming.
Monday: Retailer Chat Extra
Today was a special Spanish-language Retailer Chat concerning the launch of a new service in Puerto Rico, preceded by a Spanish-language normal Retailer Chat. Nel Torres kindly left me an uplink report from a few days ago in my tip line inbox.
The one thing that is worth mentioning from the Spanish-language Retailer Chat is that Scott G. thought that the Spanish-language advertising was much better than the English advertising.
¡24 Nuevos Canales HD! That's right, 24 new HD channels for PR coming August 1 (check the SatelliteGuys uplink reports for the offerings) as well as a new local channel (WCCV uplinked on Wednesday), the new "One-dish option", and more.
The new dish is 30 inches and will be called the Dish 500PR. It can only receive 110 and requires a ViP 211/222/k. 119 coverage will come with EchoStar 14 next year.
All of the new HD and WCCV require ViP receivers as they are in MPEG4 format.
Week of 13 July 2009
Dish Network is to pay $5.99 million to 46 states in order to settle charges that Dish and its retailers used deceptive sales tactics. The states NOT participating: South Carolina, Maine, Illinois, and Hawaii.
SatelliteGuys has rumors available to its supporting members claiming three new HD channels will launch on Dish, and they've been slowly publicly announcing these; the result: QVC, BBC America, and Investigation Discovery HD coming "soon".
Uplink report highlights: A barrage of channels were added on the 49 spot (MPEG 4 SD) and 46/47 (4000 range HD channels).
INVS1 and 2 (SD) and INVH1 and 2 (HD) were added in the 4850s to 118.
Rejoice! KSWO HD has been made available like proclaimed in the HD Tuesday.
KHQA-DT2 (ABC) will be coming in HD soon.
Alexandria locals were uplinked in the 6500s. MPEG2 SD 8PSK. KALB-DT2 is CBS.
Lima locals were added. For the record: WLQP is ABC, WLMO is CBS, WLIO is NBC, WOHL is Fox and MNTV, WTLW is an independent, and WBGU is PBS.
KTMFD was added to 7123; KFBBD was added to 8854; and KWYBD was added to 9090. These are Max Media stations and likely the replacement for Equity Fox Montana.
WCCV is being added for Puerto Rico. It is a religious broadcaster.
Locals on 148 are being added to proper locations. A very weird case, but it's happening.
Rejoice, Baton Rouge! WBRZ has become available once more after a yearlong retransmission consent dispute ended.
DPTC is now SWEET. This channel will change names based on what it advertises.
KAZR is now KRNS. The once-Azteca and TúVisión station changed calls, but nobody knows its affiliation. It's now owned by Entravision Communications, known for operating Univisión and Telefutura stations across the country.
Dish DVR Advantage is going away as a name. Packages will now be (Package) with DVR. A Gold 250 package with DVR will be offered, and Silver + Bonus Pack with Gold will become a grandfathered-only option.
Dish uses a European standard. But it's a standard, so it can be spoofed and people can receive Dish. The FBI is going after three people who made the Viewsat satellite receiver under the DMCA. The receivers spoofed Dish's Nagravision 2 smart cards, which allowed users of the Viewsat to receive Dish without paying. The Nagra 3 update cut off this access, but the masterminds behind Viewsat were already working to crack Nagra 3.
Week of 6 July 2009
The Television Freedom Act is back: the split market legislation has now been unofficially backed by DirecTV.
Apologies if this site is rendering incorrectly on your browser. I suggest using a modern browser with standards support (Firefox 3.5, Chrome 2 or 3, Safari 4, Opera 9+, even Internet Explorer 8) to view the EKB News Monitor and News Archives. I was sent a report that the site's headlines and news were being squished in IE7. Modern browsers aren't just good for viewing the News Monitor, they can also enhance the rest of your Web experience. I build to HTML 4.01 Strict and always will build to an HTML standard.
Thursday: Retailer Chat Recap of the Recap
It's Retailer Chat day for the month of July! This month: Columbus-Tupelo HD launching in August (another delay!), Bend and Marquette require an 8PSK-compatible receiver (!), Lima and Alexandria LA launch 19 August with 8PSK compatibility required, DishNow prepaid is being removed (as suspected), the cancellation fee is going up for new customers, internationals will become available to commercial subs on 1 August, a Dish umbrella, and some "duh" news: Western Arc new HD hookups require all-MPEG4 hookups beginning 1 August, a new 922 beta software to enable dual mode, and that's it. Another Retailer Chat on the 20th of July, too focusing specifically on Puerto Rico HD channels.
Another uplink this morning pointed out to me by Nel J. Torres: a new set of HD channels on the Puerto Rico spots in the 4900s. Unavailable. At the same time, things moved around with the other 4000-series HD national channels and the Alaska-Hawaii HD channels on 129. Expect availability July 22 or so given Dish's track record and the Retailer Chat.
TV One (which may or may not be the African American-oriented channel) is uplinked to 904 at 118.
Rejoice, Marquette, Bend, and Laredo! KGNS HD and your locals have been made available. For the record, there is no Fox in the Marquette market (since WMQF now known as WZMQ needs to get a working digital on the air quickly and strike a new retrans deal); WLUC is NBC, WBKP is ABC, WBUP is CW+ (unavailable on Dish), WNMU is PBS. KBNZ is Bend's CBS, a locally-focused version of Portland's KOIN; KOHD is the ABC; KFXO is Fox; KTVZ is NBC (and is co-owned with the LPTV KFXO). KOAB is part of the OPB PBS system.
Rejoice, everyone! MSNBC HD is available...but not to Absolute customers, it seems.
Week of 29 June 2009
Rejoice! A huge swath of HD locals has been made available, and I am so excited because some big retrans consent news is hidden within. As I reported, KBAK, Eau Claire/La Crosse, Panama City, and Wausau were part of the HD Tuesday, but Fort Wayne was thrown in this morning too as expected. There's also retransmission consent stuff within, stuff that allows me to remove some stations from Quincy Newspapers, Schurz Communications, and the entire Newport Broadcasting and Granite/Malara Broadcasting portfolio. WPTA and WISE, owned by Malara (a shell company for Granite) and Granite, are available in HD, and combined with WKBW HD last week, it's huge.
The smart card channels and another set of internationals were removed.
TV9TE, an international, is now available.
KSWO has been added again in HD. It's been added and removed like crazy of late, likely while Dish talks to its owner Drewry Communications.
KCWL changed to KFXL. It now is the same content as KSNB and KTVG, and most of the market will get its CW from KXVO Omaha.
Beckley-Bluefield locals are marching in with the uplink of a slew of them. Being offered are WOAY (ABC), WVNS (CBS), WVVA (NBC), WVNS-DT2 (Fox, mapped to 8), WLFB (religious), and WSWP (PBS). Expect a launch in the next two weeks if Dish's tradition holds.
Cable could pony up more than Dish and DirecTV: SNL Kagan projects that retrans revenues could hit $1.2 billion in 2011. 62% of this year's fees have come from the top 25 markets, and the average payment is 25 cents per subscriber.s
Another HD Tuesday, and good news abounds: Panama City locals (no CBS - very weird situation where Dothan's CBS and Panama City's NBC are co-owned and they provide services for the other market (Dothan CBS for Panama City and Panama City NBC for Dothan) but can't be carried together), KBAK (no KBFX, as they do not have an HD OTA signal right now), Eau Claire/La Crosse (all four!) and Wausau (WAOW, WSAW, WJFW, WFXS) tomorrow. But there's something that caught my eye, and if you live in Cedar Rapids, Rockford, Quincy, Madison, Rochester MN, South Bend, or Sioux City, it could mean a new HD local for you: Eau Claire and Wausau include the W_OW stations, owned by Quincy Newspapers. This is a first, because QNI and Dish have been at an HD retrans impasse for a while now. It's huge news!
Week of 22 June 2009
Wednesday: Uplink Report Highlights
The HD Tuesday locals were delivered on time, as was KVER in SD (uplinked last week), the Univisión affiliate in Palm Springs. Also, another market is coming soon in SD, and the Mississippi Delta might want to stock up on party supplies; WABG, WXVT, WABG-DT2 (Fox map 32), and WMAO are up on 129 now. The market does not have an NBC affiliate.
Another set of internationals went off 148 today, bu the most striking item in the set is the removal of a string of local channels. The connecting factor is that each one is owned by Equity, the bankrupt broadcaster forced to auction off its stations - and these never had digital operations. In the case of some (like KLMN), they have new owners willing to restore the signal (Max Media), but quite a few were bought by the Daystar network and will likely never return to Dish. The only major stations pulled were some Fox affiliates in Montana (Max Media) and the MyNetworkTV affiliate in the Springfield market (to be bought by Daystar).
The long form channel rotated names to V12 today (advertising deodorant, I believe), and GPUNJ channel 621 was added. (SP, what is GPUNJ?) Art Sports 601, BBC Arabic 606, HKYAT 777, and a new DNFYI 829 were made available. 829 is between the Univision and Telefutura E/W feeds, and if someone would tell me what that slate says to my tip line or Twitter, I would be very happy. (No need to translate if in Spanish.)
SHVERA, SHVERA! Draft versions could allow Dish to put HD and SD on separate dishes.
Setanta UK has fallen into administration (the equivalent of bankruptcy in the US) but does not affect its international and US businesses.
A fiber cut forced Dish locals to black in a number of markets earlier. Reports say Columbus OH, Fort Smith AR, Tri-Cities TN VA, Memphis, and others. Dish Twitter gave me a boilerplate message and told me at 2:14 local time that they were back.
HD Tuesday on Twitter: looks like the days of missing HD locals for some may disappear! KVAL, KIDK, KBCI, KIMA, and WKBW HD for tomorrow.
WKRN is off the air due to a power outage at the transmitter site. And evidently, it wasn't just them: 40/29 (KHBS/KHOG Fort Smith) had a transmitter issue that forced them off the air on Dish and DirecTV for a long time (the KHBS transmitter fell dead on the 13th) that was fixed just a few hours ago.
Global Communications might be dancing with Dish in Florida court: another lawsuit was found, this time on Dish Pro Plus.
Week of 15 June 2009
Overnight uplink: KQFX-LP ch 22/38 has been turned on in HD. They just got their own HD signal OTA on 22, but the EPG still maps KQFX to 38.
Modernizations made to our news archives. They now bear the same look as all other EKB news pages and are valid HTML 4.01 Strict.
Dish is investigating more workarounds for TiVo.
A new EKB News Monitor feature: Twitter access. Get the latest information and watch as I get the facts from Dish official Twitter accounts. You can also send me tips through Twitter.
It turned out to be a good day to start Twitter, because the Dish Network Twitter feed confirms what WDBJ had been reporting all along: "FYI Roanoke subs:@jdashiell @nryannews @sbahorich @CarsonKrislov @TVNewsGal & rest of @WDBJ7 are up in HD beg. TONIGHT around 5p ET" A preliminary uplink report shows that HD locals for Richmond; Tampa; WPB minus WPEC; Birmingham; Oklahoma City; Tulsa; and WDBJ were made available.
Also from that report: new channels soon: Bend HD + KOAB; North Platte HD; KVER SD 9329. Research indicates that KVER-CA is a Univisión affiliate in Palm Springs.
Another round of internationals were yanked off of 148 today.
Massachusetts alert: the legislature might pass a 5% satellite tax.
The Retro Television Network is rebranding as RTV, just like DTV. Its programs will also be on KHIZ and WSAH for LA and New York viewers, respectively.
DirecTV and Invidi Technologies are going to make local ads on DirecTV real by 2011. Ads would be pushed to DVRs, and then the software would cue the ads over the national video feed.
An owner of remote-area full-power broadcast translators in Nevada and Wyoming has proposed moving them to Monmouth, NJ and Wilmington, DE, in order to give each state a local-audience TV station and to create jobs. I can't say I've heard of a long-distance move of that sort before.
Last week, we reported on dishbeatsdirectv.com, Dish PR's attempt to get customers. There's also an accompanying print campaign running in newspapers. 800 words of copy emphasizing more HD and low-cost packages. But then there's this item which is worded wrong: "Sunday Ticket costs DirecTV one billion dollars a year and ends up being subsidized by other DirecTV customers whether they get the Sunday Ticket or not. Maybe that's why in the last three months of 2008, the average DirecTV customer paid about 15% a month more for TV than the average Dish Network customer." Also said: "We refuse to carry the NFL Sunday Ticket", but because it's DirecTV-exclusive by contract, they had no choice.
Are you ready for another DTV term? Double rescanning requires you to clear out a converter box's memory and is saving some who cannot get certain channels.
SHVERA was reintroduced without the split market provision.
DTV call center: 95000 calls on Monday.
The satellite big guns pledged not to exploit a loophole in current SHVERA wording on white areas.
Can anyone make sense of this article on local satellite coverage?
Dish is going to the table with noncom stations over signal carriage.
A new analyst initiated DirecTV coverage with a buy rating.
The last hurdle for News Corp's acquisition of Hughes' stake in DirecTV has been cleared.
The amazing reception on June 12 continues. One viewer in Toronto was watching WIVB Buffalo with an indoor antenna when they shut off analog. But it was what came after that shocked the viewer: a picture from WWL New Orleans. Also mentioned: WFLA could pick up North Carolina stations, WSAV was getting Kansas stations, and WKRG Mobile could be picked up in Birmingham and Montgomery.
Week of 8 June 2009
It's over: stations switched, the people making it issuing a press release, New York and Chicago got the most DTV calls, there were 317,450 calls on Friday to 1-888-CALL-FCC, and to round it all out, I'll throw in an article from the Navajo Times on translators and the transition.
Today is the biggest day in American television history. With the DTV transition upon us, many stations have already shut off analog, and the last few full-powers will do so at 11:59pm local time tonight.
New this afternoon: details of the first signoffs of NYC analogs. WNET reception noticeably improved.
This transition should be uneventful, according to Rick Boucher, chairman of the House Communications Subcommitee.
At WCCB Charlotte, KISS rocker Paul Stanley ceremonially shut off the signal.
By the numbers, according to B&C: 220 stations ended before 2/17, 421 on 2/17, 161 more between 2/17 and 6/12, 186 in the early morning, 239 in the mid-morning, 155 between noon and 6, and 391 by midnight.
The FCC call centers are getting swamped with calls. Three calls produced an automatic hangup, a warning that waits would be longer than five minutes, and the third went to hold after rescanning info. Another 1200 operators are joining the effort, bringing the total to 5200 for now. And 122,000 calls have hit that call center.
Raycom Media stations have completed the transition. WSFA had power interruption problems; WLOX had a bad transmitter that took 90 minutes to fix. However, DTV reception on VHF must be really good. WSFA DTV 12 was getting excellent reception from as far as 75 miles away; WBTV Charlotte's digital signal was being picked up in Kansas City, 1,000 miles away (on UHF 23, no less!). Staffers in Montgomery were picking up WBRC Birmingham, 100 miles away.
A look at other stations' DTV reactions from B&C.
Yesterday, the NTIA reported 320,000 coupon requests, a big spike from the last month's average request volume.
An American inventor has made an offer to save the endangered Setanta Sports.
In 85 markets, 118 stations will provide nightlight programming and emergency information.
Engineers are confident that the transition will go over well.
Sidebar: At WJHL TV in Johnson City, Tennessee, the founding member that flicked the switch to turn on the station in the first place also turned off the analog signal.
To rescan for channels on a Dish receiver with OTA (as is necessary in many markets), delete the channels first and rescan. You may need to wait as the stations move their digitals.
From DirecTV, a list of station moves and dark Equity stations.
New this evening: Rep. John Dingell is worried that the DTV transition could make it hard to see Game 7 of the Red Wings-Penguins series on Friday. (He's a Michigan Democrat, in case you wondered.)
Also new this evening: Univisión is celebrating the DTV transition in several ways. Their late news will be extended with coverage of the transition. Their morning news will feature DTV coverage; 45 second news briefs in prime by the network; hourly countdowns on every Univisión station; a countdown during the late news in Times Square; and more. This coverage and sendoff of analog might be better than what most English-language stations do!
More new this evening: 70.5% of households unready for the transition in November have acquired digital-to-analog converter boxes. A further 29.3% switched to pay TV services (most to cable).
A long battle has ended. After six months minus a week, Fisher Communications stations have returned to Dish Network. There's huge excitement on DBSTalk and SatelliteGuys right now, and here's the uplink to prove it. KATU, KOMO, KBCI, KVAL, KBAK, KBFX, KIDK, KOMO, KUNS, KATU, KUNP, and KIMA are welcomed back with open arms by our Northwest region customers. onlycharlieknows.com is now a blank white page. (Here's the presser.)
It's time for a look at the TV2 IR converter. Scott has photos at SatelliteGuys.
One day to go...the NAB says 1.75 million are unprepared, Ed Markey reminds everyone of how he backed this for 20 years.
New tonight: A source familiar with Monday night's Charlie Chat said that Charlie was not saying that everyone could get AAD but that those in retrans consent battlegrounds or those who will not get digital main signals could qualify. But the pack of dogs known as the National Association of Broadcasters are seeing red. NAB spokesman Dennis Wharton: "If some of [Charlie's comments] are true, it would be outrageous for him to use the end of the DTV transition as an excuse to illegally import distant network signals with impunity."
Yesterday, a channel 81 Info was added, and I surmised that it relates to the HD distants. Sure enough, eight channels (73-80) have appeared with the actual distants.
New: 601 Art Sports and BBC AR (Arabic?) 606, as well as 702 TV9TE (need info on this one). Unavailable.
A variety of locals were beamed up including Buffalo and Grand Rapids moving and Wausau added. Wausau will not have ABC or Fox due to them being owned by Quincy Newspapers. Granite's WTVH Syracuse is notably absent.
Four internationals and HIDEF 77 (that was remade available on 90) were removed.
The moved locals, all of what was uplinked on Tuesday (Alaska digital subchannels) minus 81, the HD1-HD8 channels, and KVEW. (Wha?)
Other versions of the Alaska subchannels, KCYU HD, KKPX, WPXA, KPPX, WCPX, and KWPX were turned on. (The Yakima market has a CBS Fisher, a KHQ-owned NBC, and a Morgan Murphy ABC (which really should be available, given that KXLY is.) KCYU is not in SD oddly.) Rejoice, Yakima, Fairbanks, Juneau, San Jose, Atlanta, Chicago, Phoenix, and Seattle!
LF 9645 was renamed to DPTC today.
Setanta Sports is in danger of going off the air and at any minute could fold. Cox just added Setanta as an a la carte.
Retailer Chat today: recap here. Recap of the Recap: the official DN product of the month for retailers, a plastic Dish Network pizza cutter, new remotes, the TV2 Converter for $35.
Ketchikan, Alaska's KPU Telecommunications is switching from IP-Prime to EchoStar's ViP-TV.
Schurz rejoicing! Dish and Schurz are working to get all the Schurz locals in HD by the 17th, or at least WDBJ! (See the retrans board for a full list of Schurz stations.
Dish launched dishbeatsdirectv.com yesterday. Notice the issues with their rendition of the DirecTV logo. Even worse yet, "directvbeatsdish.com" redirects there.
New from me: a letter to Quincy Newspapers high-ups.
U.R.H.: INFO ch 81 was added on 110 tp 17 today. It likely trumpets the fact that good things are coming for Fisher and Freedom and Quincy and Schurz people.
Charlie Chat tonight. Only big news is that AAD will give you distants if you want them starting Saturday. Holy smokes, Fisher and Freedom are goin' down! And new: If you don't have HD locals, you can go to AAD and get Chicago/LA HD distants!
Coming soon: MSNBC HD (7/8), Columbus MS, Fort Wayne, La Crosse, Laredo, Wausau, Panama City HD (7/1), Bend, Lima, Marquette, Alexandria LA SD (7/8 or 7/22).
Dish is talking weekly with Fisher...and they are slathering on unreasonability.
Puerto Rico HD: 27 new channels in August.
Five years ago today from the EKB News Archives by JBuff: "Reagan Memorials Impact SHVERA Hearing" and "Report: Sony Passage a Boon for Satellite?"
Week of 1 June 2009
Six days to go and the silent list has been revised. KXVA, along with WLNY (early flash-cut), KCWK (analog silent, license gone - Pappas filed for ch 11 and this was a casualty), and WMTJ (technical issues fixed), were pulled.
New tonight: WRGB's general manager appeared on his station today warning of the loss of Albany's channel 6 in SD on Dish. WRGB is a Freedom Communications station. It looks like we have a mess on our hands now...June brought to you by the letter F? Fisher and Freedom like that one. My letter to Freedom TV GMs and its president is out tonight.
One week to go to the nation's big switch to DTV. On June 12, different stations will go at different times, and more stations than expected would lose 2%+ of their viewership. Instead of 319 stations, 355 will be affected.
On Wednesday, I posted a list of post-DTV silent stations...but did KXVA deserve to be on there?
How did Dish receive KOAM and KFJX? (And KSNF?) Through equipment on KSNF's now-collapsed tower. KOLR, KSFX, and KYTV have replaced these stations. (Ironically, KSNF, like KOLR and KSFX, is part of Nexstar and Mission Broadcasting.
DTV Watch: At Wednesday's DTV update meeting, cable was both lauded and scolded; lauded for working with broadcasters to educate viewers and keep services running and scolded by Consumers Union for upselling services during the transition, confusing consumers. DTV Watch is a temporary feature on the News Monitor in the final days of analog television. Are you ready?
New tonight: Chase Carey is leaving DirecTV for News Corp. July 1, becoming that company's deputy chairman, president, and COO. Larry Hunter will fill in as DirecTV CEO in the interim.
Markets on the move! Re-uplinked today to 129 spots: Sherman-Ada, Fort Myters, Austin, and Cleveland. All are available.
A new TMP HD channel has appeared, 5382 on 61.5 and 129.
KKPX, WPXA, and WCPX; new Ion locals have come online but not available.
What the heck is KVSN? It's new, it's here, and it's...Univisión! The Entravision-owned affiliate signed on in March and has made its way to Dish Network.
Rejoice, Sherman-Ada! Your locals were turned on at 61.5 in addition to the surprise 129 addition.
Rejoice, Puerto Rico! WJPX was turned on today, mapped to 21 (digital) and not 24. (The mappings conflicted with WSJX-LP, Fox Puerto Rico.) Our Puerto Rico expert, Nel J. Torres, tells us about the exciting things you can find on WJPX for Puerto Rico subscribers, including Major League Baseball and a few other things. (They also have a digital subchannel with pony races!)
Channel 280 is gone...does anyone know why? Maybe having the locals in the packages is why.
HD channel TMP57 and international ZGUJ 623 are gone. SP, what's up with ZGUJ?
KPXB, an Ion local that never made it, is gone.
With the TiVo dust all but settled, the websites are pouring it on: Multichannel News, Broadcasting and Cable, Gizmodo, Betanews. A Credit Suisse analyst thinks he sees a licensing deal soon with Dish and TiVo after this one.
In the markets, TiVo soared 53% to 10.70 at the end of Wednesday's trading. Dish dropped nearly 10% to 15.56.
35 stations are going dark June 12, and 7 of them are major network affiliates. Of these, Equity Media owns the majority, which are newer builds without digital facilities. Fox could disappear in Marquette, Great Falls, Missoula, Butte and Abilene; a KOB (NBC) repeater is at risk of going dark, as is KNRR; and a miscellany of other stations are in the mix. Some are silent for DTV transition delay reasons, such as two in Puerto Rico; KCWK, on the list, has been dead and likely will end up repossessed and turned in; two have had bankruptcy (WRTM) or death in the owners' family (WBIJ). These stations (full list here (PDF) were all licensed after 21 April 1997. Updated with new info and an updated link.
JUST IN to the EKB News Monitor: THE EASTERN TEXAS DISTRICT COURT HAS RULED AGAINST DISH NETWORK IN THE TIVO CASE. The permanent injunction on infringing DVRs will be fully enforced beginning in 30 days. TiVo is awarded $73.9 million plus interest and an additional $103.1 million in damages. TiVo stock was down today but is up 38% in after-hours trading, a positive for the company that was barely not turning a profit. Stay with the EKB News Monitor for continued updates to this story.
Finally, DBSTalk posters realized the Freedom dispute!
In other news today, EchoStar is expanding into Asia with a company called Asia Satellite Telecommunications Co. to sell DBS to Taiwan and other areas. AsiaSat provides the capacity, EchoStar operations and equipment. It'll be running in the second half of the year.
DirecTV signed a two-year extension of its deal with Convergys for customer service support. Time Horror, Comcake, Cox, and Suddenlink also use Convergys. (Those are nicknames for TWC and Comcast in case you're humor-impaired.)
Chase Carey has confirmed that he's talking with News Corp., saying that talks are private.
BBC America HD has set July 20 for a launch date. Will Dish or Cox carry it at launch day?
The rumor machine is grinding up news saying that DirecTV CEO Chase Carey could leave to News Corp by the end of June. Even though Chase Carey has a contract with DirecTV, an analyst at Barclays thinks that Carey can weasel his way out of the contract. And Tom Eagan, an analyst at Collins Steward, thinks that Carey's departure could mean a sale, with AT&T being his pick for likely buyer.
No new uplink activity, but a variety of other Freedom stations have the same message. It's a boilerplate format, so I've created the "Freedom Notifier":
"This is a message for those who watch [channel name here] via Dish Satellite service. For many months we've been trying to get Dish to agree to add our HD digital signal to their lineup. We are disappointed that Dish subscribers cannot view our programming in HD digital quality and we're concerned that our programming may stop being offered. Call Dish and tell them you don't want to lose great [CBS or ABC: there are 5 CBS and 3 ABCs in the Freedom bouquet] programming such as [2 syndicated programs] and our newscasts. Call Dish today at 1-888-284-7116."
Week of 25 May 2009
Eleventh-hour indeed! Sinclair and Dish have signed a deal, and all Sinclair-Cunningham stations are safe again, including illegal duopolies and sets of three. Expect the second quarter results to say retrans was (again) the only improving area.
I have sent the letter to Fisher Communications. Read its text here. I'll also post the text of any responses I receive.
Another retrans dispute is unfolding: Freedom Communications. A SatelliteGuys poster tipped me off to a message from WTVC's general manager (viewable here) hinting at a third wide retransmission consent dispute, the zesty cherry to the Sinclair dispute we just learned about. Freedom channels have never been in HD on Dish. They include WPEC, WTVC, KFDM, WWMT, WRGB, and WLAJ. A corporate address is available at the bottom of the retransmission consent noticeboard here. (By the way, my definition of "wide RC dispute" means that it affects SD and HD of multiple stations, such as Fisher or Sinclair. WBRZ? No.)
I plan on having letters ready to go to what I assume are the email addresses of Freedom CEO Thomas Bassett and Sinclair CEO David Smith. Now that the letter to Fisher's CEO, Colleen Brown, is done, I can focus on these two.
From the Dish Channel Chart archives, Sinclair and Dish last signed a deal at the end of July 2005. From August 1 2005 to June 1 2009 is 46 months.
The newspaper in Peoria, Illinois reports on a crawl saying that the Fox affiliate there is warning of the beginning of a retransmission consent spat with Dish and Sinclair on June 1. WYZZ, the station running the crawl, interestingly is run by Nexstar Broadcasting Group, not its owner Sinclair. Retransmission consent was the only profitable sector of Sinclair's 1Q 2009 earnings, rising 8% when ad sales dropped steeply and Sinclair lost money.Write them immediately: Sinclair Broadcast Group, Inc., 10706 Beaver Dam Road, Hunt Valley, Maryland 21030
Raleigh, Charlotte, St. Louis, and Detroit locals moved on 129. And St. Louis can rejoice, for KPLR has joined the HD lineup today.
New SD locals! They all bear PX: KPPX (a new local for me!?), KPXB, and KWPX.
Rejoice, Great Falls and the Rio Grande! Great Falls launches at half strength with KFBB and KRTV; XHRIO makes its debut.
Rejoice, Jacksonville: WAWS-DT2, a little late, makes its launch.
Another round of internationals moves.
SLTV has ceased operations and is now a slate. It's now called DISH. Also gone is 9576 The N, now that it lives at 181.
EchoStar got its first ViP-TV customer today. They used IP-Prime, which is going bye-bye.
First, last week's leftovers:
The Battle of Retransmission Consent continues. Cable thinks it hurts the small guys.
Analog soft tests brought in 55,000 calls to the 1-888-CALLFCC digital call center.
Time Warner Cable is losing HDNet and HDNet Movies at the end of the month, and one LA resident took it upon himself to talk about it to Multichannel News, Mark Cuban, Time Warner Cable employees, and others. He switched to Dish and was happy to hear Mark Cuban reply that Dish and HDNet had signed a new deal. (This averted the potential loss of the HDNet channels a few months ago that Scott got an email blast about.)
Live in Vermont? You could get a satellite tax! The tip line submission said Massachusetts, but verified against the stopsatellitetax.com website jointly run by DirecTV and Dish, it's Vermont.
Week of 18 May 2009
The multiview channels have returned this time in the 550s. They are for the French Open. On a related note, the Tennis Channel has moved into freeview for the event.
A few moves today for Birmingham and Oklahoma locals.
Rejoice, various markets, and Sherman-Ada, get ready! A wave of new HD locals have been added - available AND not so. KSNF is in this batch, however their tower collapse earlier this month means they're likely not on. KSNF and KODE are effectively co-owned, so those looking for certain KSNF programs may find them on KODE. Additionally, KSNF-KODE have news updates available on their joint website if desired. Some of the new channels are moved from other locations.
WPTA and WISE, Granite-Malara stations, are in this batch. I'll be watching to see if these get turned on: co-owned WKBW is missing its HD feed.
Another huge wave of internationals are going off 148, and the 6100s are bright and light with new channels during this.
Like temporary HD channels? Six of them have popped up today in the 5300s.
The MGM HD network is coming soon, if new channel 9647 is any indication.
WJPX channel 7785/24 is coming soon for Puerto Rico. It's a CaribeVisión affiliate, not ION as the call letters might make you think. (It used to be though.)
Additional rejoicing for those new subchannels! Bakersfield gets its CW (but still doesn't have CBS or Fox), and Eugene and Hannibal Quincy get similar offerings. WAWS-DT is conspicuously absent.
The No Tax channels keep bouncing around. Anyone want to fill me in on who is getting them?
Rejoice? Fuel SD has arrived today on channel 155.
The long-form channel is now ALOE.
In the weekly news, Dish dropped in the Wolverines' customer satisfaction index. DirecTV leads with a 71, followed by Cox (!) with a 66 and Dish with a 64. (Wow, my local cable company is on top of Dish Network!)
Week of 11 May 2009
Rejoice, Alaska and Hawaii! Another batch of HD national channels have arrived for you.
The Sling controversy is unfolding...the Sling issue may be connected to a U-verse product in development.
Do you live in Lafayette, Indiana? DirecTV is adding WLFI tomorrow. As for Dish, it'll be a few years despite the fact that Dish loves LIN TV.
Get ready for a party: the HD ranges have lit up with unavailable Tulsa, Birmingham, and OK City locals; KTVG from Grand Island, Nebraska, Fox; Great Falls; KPLR on 118.7; and Marquette local channels. Sherman-Ada shuffled and is coming next week, and Great Falls the week after that, according to a retailer chat screencap. (Not much there, but hey.)
The digital subchannel info range shuffled. KMOS, WENH, WCAV, WLOV, KMGH, WDAY, WHTM, WJXX, WLKY, WKOW, WNCF, WTVJ, KAWB, KBHE, KNBN, KNSD, KTEN, KUTV, WWTV, WFQX, KMVT, KFDX, and KIMA were added. In addition, the Alaska Hawaii MPEG4 SD locals were removed, as were a select amount of digital subchannels.
Rejoice, Roanoke, Erie, Springfield IL, Baton Rouge, Bismarck, Medford, and Twin Falls! You've received one or all network affiliates.
The first wave of the ION stations came on today. KPPX and several others are missing. No rejoicing for ION.
Another wave of 148 internationals went by the wayside.
I once went to a horse race...it came so close that we were stuck at a Steward's Inquiry. My horse-racer-lover uncle got a big windfall out of the inquiry, however, so it's fine. Anyways, Dish is carrying 80 channels of live racing beginning in September.
The craziness has ensued between Charter and DirecTV. The latter was running ads saying that Charter's Chapter 11 would interrupt service and Charter promptly took legal action and got a restraining order against DirecTV.
Verizon is selling 4.8 million access lines to Frontier Communications, a Dish reseller. The markets do not have FiOS, and the analysts are chirping over the fact that this could be huge for Dish. Such a deal would triple Frontier's customer base.
No Recap of the Recap for last night's Tech Forum: I'll turn you over to BobaBird to read about the happenings. Before tonight, I never knew that we did Tech Forum recaps.
Do you live in Little Rock? Read about an issue with KLRT (Fox) not broadcasting HD content. Weather damage is causing the issues. KLRT is also a rare Newport TV station in HD on Dish; the rest of the station group is missing, though a set of Newport digital subchannels were added this week.
The NAB says that DTV converter boxes make the picture better. Given that the NAB commissioned the survey, the numbers only make sense.
One of the weirdest inverse relations: if Dish news is bad...stock goes up!? It went as high as 21.4% higher and closed 17% higher.
From Marketwire press releases: EchoStar reports a 13.5% decrease year-over-year in revenue but a net loss of $645,000 for the first quarter.
Dish lost 94,000 subs but boosted net income by 21% year-over-year, giving it a net income of $313 million on revenue of $2.91 billion, a 2.1% growth year-over-year. In the SEC 10-Q, Dish says that relative performance comes from Dish-specific issues. Promotional pricing from competitors and retention tactics are responsible for some of the losses. Dish also cited certain customer service issues. In the MCN article, also notice that Verizon and AT&T combined gained 583,000 new subscribers.
You may recall last week that Dish and CMT struck a deal to bring concerts to its channel 101. There's more to the deal: Dish will premiere new editions of Invitation Only, a concert series. The first of the monthly concerts is June 2 with Darius Rucker.
Week of 4 May 2009
Today was a BIG day at Team Summit, and the announcements come rapidfire: Speed HD! FX HD! MavTV HD! FashionTV HD! Logo, SD and HD! MSNBC HD on June 29! Dish is taking its 101 to HD, exclusive CMT concerts! New UHF remote for the 922, with a Lost Remote Finder feature! Dish Remote Access streaming home content from the 612/622/722/722k/922, launched today! Sling iPhone remote next month! All retailers at Team Summit can help beta test the 922! MSRP on 922 $699! TV2 IR converter allows non-Dish remotes to operate TV2; Slingboxes can be hooked up for receiver control! A new Dish 500+ integrated LNB! 129, 119, 118.7, 110, and a DP+ switch all in one! Push VOD: all movies to 622s will be in HD! DishOnline to be changed for easier navigation! More 1080p! Puerto Rico: 30 HD channels soon, and 10 regional channels exclusive to Dish! In 2010, a single dish solution for Puerto Rico with 30" dishes! 14 more HD local launches by the end of the year, bringing the count to 152 markets serving 93% of the population! Marketing guy Ira Bahr mocks DirecTV's HD claims - a filing from DirecTV shows that D* customers pay $20 more from D* for the same services!
Two new TMP channels are now up, and they ARE HD.
DirecTV made an announcement today during its earnings: it had its largest quarter of new subscribers in four years, gaining 460,000 subs to hit the 18 million mark. Customer churn was at 1.3%, the lowest in a decade. But Chase Carey also said that they may have overdone the promo pricing. Major sales deals and the DTV transition drew subscriber growth upward big time. But could Dish steal the Verizon thunder? Expect such announcements from Dish on Monday.
From the SatelliteGuys Twitter feed: the 922 will have an MSRP of $700 or lease for $199. DTVPal DVR owners will get the F207 software release this week as well.
The SatelliteGuys Twitter feed gives us a peek into the grind of pre-Team Summit today, with the uplink march moving along.
The long-form channel is now SDWCH. What is being hawked here, I wonder?
Fox and Dish appear to have finished their negotiations, as FUEL has made it to Dish. It will be on channel 151. The Speed and FX HD channels still are not on the table.
PEOPLE ARE USING THEIR NOGGINS! The N split off from Dish much earlier than expected today on channel 181.
A channel called STARF is now up on 269 for AT100 customers. It is a mirror of 9408, the Starfish Network.
REJOICE, ALASKA and HAWAII! You get caught up on HD for the first time.
Did my new retransmission consent noticeboard work? KSWO HD is now waiting in the wings.
Want to try some digital subchannels? We'll start in Fort Myers, Florida, where a new WINK 2 has popped up. We still don't know what's on it, and it's unavailable. It's surrounded by a variety of test channels also added today, so it could be the test WINK2, but the Fort Myers tag is on it. WINK does not have an 11.2 digital subchannel.
Next, it's off to Eugene, Oregon, where the CW subchannel of KMTR has also come swooping in. This is a Newport station, intriguingly.
Off to Bakersfield, California, a town devastated by the metaphorical Hurricane Fisher. Another Newport station, KGET, is offering its subchannel, another CW outlet.
Back to Florida, where the First Coast and WAWS, another Newport station, give us a taste of WAWS-DT2, a MyNetworkTV affiliate.
Rejoice! A bunch of new HD locals hit the air: KWYB Butte, KRCR Redding, KHBS Fort Smith, KXLF Butte, KHSL Chico, KFSM Fort Smith, KTVM Butte, KNVN Chico, KNWA Rogers AR, KCVU Paradise CA, KFTA Fort Smith, KSFY Sioux Falls, WTVO Rockford, KELO Sioux Falls, WIFR Freeport IL, KDLT Sioux Falls, KTTW Sioux Falls, and WQRF Rockford got turned on today. A good number of Nexstar-Mission stations are in the sprinkles, as well as Bonten-BlueStone stations.
Like it when things are made available? Rejoice again, An chorage! You get KTVA and KAKM HD, marking Dish's first HD PBS member station! KTUU shows up late to the party because of Schurz ownership (read my new retransmission consent noticeboard). KTBY is also missing.
If you like it when channels move because they move to digital, you'll love it at KCVU! When they shut off analog, they became FOX 20, not FOX 30. Dish mappings now reflect the change on the day that Chico-Redding lights up.
APUNJ is the only channel today to go, and it moves off of 148 in a spectacular week, buried in the uplink report.
Tri-Cities in Washington: The KAPP mappings were all changed to KVEW. They are sister stations (of KXLY) (much like the CBS affiliates go, and they're part of Hurricane Fisher).
Dish will be countering the DirecTV cloud DVR system with its own. The rumor from SatelliteGuys gives an ETA of Friday and a beta at dish.sling.com to try.
Scott got to see the Uplink Center! That's the big daddy in Cheyenne, though there is a little sister in my backyard (Gilbert, AZ).
LOGO news: Scotty thought he saw it at the uplink center and the hackers are seeing it streaming off Dish satellites.
Watch for big moves on Friday...the big kahuna is that date.
A low-key uplink shuffles TMP channels and adds an unavailable KBTV. But it's Scott blowing the whistle on more juicy news on this Team Summit week: Speed HD. FX HD. MavTV HD. FashionTV HD. This week. Excellent sources, according to Scott.
24 hours of Dish Earth don't seem to be boring. Very nice time-lapse video.
The results of my twin polls on DBSTalk and SatelliteGuys over split markets are in one decided direction. In just about 48 hours, 153 people voted for the plan, 6 said no, and 12 checked their name under the not sure/not affected category.
I have a new page in my domain as of Sunday night: the Retransmission Consent page talks a little about why stations don't want you to watch them and gives you a feast of addresses and phone numbers for the station groups where there are problems. Nexstar is not included because their delays are likely more technical. (See KBTV.)
The split market battle heats up. I've started polls on DBSTalk and SatelliteGuys to get readers' opinions, and I'm watching the issue. Congress is willing to give this the green light.
Editorial: Split Markets
And now, an editorial. Let's say I live in the Oklahoma panhandle and am a satellite subscriber. I receive my news and information from stations in Amarillo. Of course, Amarillo, which is in Texas, will have more coverage of things happening in Texas. What if a major emergency occurs in Oklahoma? I'm in Oklahoma, so I am entitled to know what's going on. Because my market is bound to have more coverage of Amarillo and Texas news, I need stations from another market (say, Oklahoma City). Right now, I'd have to "move" to Oklahoma City, but I might be outside the OKC spotbeam! The logic of split markets would allow me to receive the Oklahoma City locals as well as those of Amarillo.
What if I'm in the DC market, though? Would the fact that Virginia AND Maryland locals would becoma available subvert the position of WUSA, for example, in retransmission consent? To an extent, yes, but I see where this benefits the viewer.
Take the Washington side of the Portland OR market (including Longview). If I live there, I'd get KATU and maybe KOMO (Seattle) or KAPP Yakima. Well, if you factor in the huge Fisher dispute, KATU and KOMO go. If changes to the split market system work like I want them to, Dish Network could make KAPP available to subscribers as a replacement ABC affiliate. In the Baton Rouge, Louisiana market, which has just one county in Mississippi, another protracted dispute has left WBRZ off Dish Network. The closest market to that county contains WLOX, another ABC affiliate. Dish could make WLOX (which would already be available to the Mississippi side of Baton Rouge) available to the rest of the market, minimizing disruption for viewers. When or if WBRZ and Dish negotiate a deal, WLOX would retreat back to the Mississippi side of the market. End Editorial
Site note: Last week, I failed to mention on Monday that Monday was my 18-month anniversary of doing the News Monitor.
Week of 26 April 2009
I guess I can say if it's internationals, it's SP! My international channel identifying hero swoops in with the names of the three international channels: AH is Anhui TV, CQTV is Chongqing TV, and SZ is Shenzhen TV. They're all Chinese.
Earlier this week, Dish shook up its management at the top. Multichannel News explains the changes.
Another NOTAX was added to 233 at 110 and 77. 211 is already up and cooking. Information is requested on what is on the NOTAX channels via the tip line.
Another TMP channel on 373. TMP45 is in HD but not to us.
A series of DMOS channels were added in the 550s. They are 72.7 and 110 couplets with MPEG4 flavors.
Panama City locals are coming...soon! WMBB, WJHG, and WPGX were added but not available-ized.
Alaska won't get HD locals at the cost of getting possibly a bunch more HD channels....the 5500 series lit up like crazy today with new additions.
Do you like the letters PX? Then we have a huge discount for you! ION owned and operated stations are coming like crazy. WTPX is listed as WTPXD but has never been in analog at all. WPXJ was put on 9134 which is in the Buffalo range but not near Jacksonville. WPXC channel 21 which DOES serve Jacksonville from Brunswick, Georgia is coming to 9060, however.
Rejoice, Laredo and Chicago! You've got new local channels. Chicago gets a worthless thing called WCHU and Laredo gets KXOF, its Fox affiliate. The Planet Green free preview has ended, and another set of international channels are moving off 148 this week.
Channel 181 has been deleted, along with some 4800s TMP HD channels, uplink channels, and other flotsam.
Rejoice, Joplin! KFJX is now in HD, giving you American Idol. Tonight. Mm-hmm!
Scott's got a juicy rumor: a reliable informant now claims that Dish could be partnering with Verizon, currently a DirecTV reseller. Verizon is known for FiOS, a major competitor to Dish and cable in the markets that it is operating in.
Goldman Sachs has downgraded Dish Network's stock to "neutral" as they flipped to "buy" for DreamWorks Animation.
EchoStar 5 is movin' on up to 148...late June likely.
Week of 19 April 2009
At 6:46pm Central Time last night, it was Rejoice, Bryan-College Station! when KBTX took to Dish for the first time. The sub-market, unique in that most of its stations are satellites of the Waco market stations, was served by sister KWTX until today.
The interestingness continues, with Uplink Report Highlights occurring overnight.
NICK GAS is off the air, and Cartoon Network West has replaced it. Channel 181 is now a slate.
Channels shuffling even in the 4800s, which currently hold temp channels 37, 45, 46, and 57, as far as the report says. 56 was deleted.
Some of the Alaska-Hawai'i versions of national HD channels moved to spotbeams.
An interesting day in Uplink Report Highlights.
A few months ago, a tipster spotted the output of E*11's camera on 110 on a test channel. It's Earth Day, and Dish has made it available to the public on channel 212. If you want to know more, read the fluffy press release. Or Multichannel News can give you one of its funny titles.
More people could be using their Noggins: NICK GAS is to go away tomorrow, according to Scotty, but CN West will take the slot. 181 will become a slate and then The N will take its place. Noggin will also move to 24 hours. The first changes are on the docket for tomorrow and the move of The N will come on 27 May.
EchoStar V is no more, and the remaining channels (Indianapolis HD locals, minus party pooper 'THR) are on tp 5s24 on Ciel 2 now.
Laredo and Anchorage HD locals are uplinked.
ION West was turned on.
A trio of new internationals: AHTV, CQTV, SZTV. What are they?
Rejoice! KOAM and Grand Junction locals are available.
KPXN was made available, likely as part of the ION deal.
Another international purge ends.
Zoom becomes MZIKA to reflect the name better.
WCHU is on a CHU-CHU train to appear on channel 61 - it did nothing today but moved transponders on 110.
Rejoice, Altoona-Johnstown! Big Four locals just landed on the availability square.
We're also watching a long-going tech snafu with The Weather Channel. Bad audio freezes, video glitches, and even blue bar problems are the case. DISH CANNOT WORK ON THIS. The Weather Channel has a whole tech team (because all of the cable and even the satellite Local Forecasts and blue bars come from computers) that deals with this stuff.
Yesterday, ION and Dish extended their contract, which confirms the ION West feed's arrival to Dish. ION West was added to DirecTV last week, a three-hour time shifted feed of the positively paid programming channel.
Speaking of DirecTV, Charlie and Carey teamed up to oppose the affiliates in the split-market state-to-state standoff as the battle of SHVERA continues.
Week of 12 April 2009
ION is now on channel 216. ION West is close on its heels on channel 217.
Getting ready: KFJX and Medford.
Sun Sports and Fox Sports Florida HD part time channels are here.
148 internationals are getting slaughtered...
KPXN is coming. So is KBTX. The ION affiliate for LA is less relevant than KBTX, a CBS affiliate.
Rejoice! WDAY, WPFO, KXVA, WBEP, and KHBB-D are now here, the first three in HD!
Channels 212, 216, and 217 were removed. The second and third removals give ION breathing room.
KLDO-3, still unavailable, changed to KXOF. KXOF is an LPTV Fox affiliate for Laredo.
Long Form 1 turned on today for Sony, mapped to 99.
LA locals are having problems where the signal is lost due to high winds.
Week of 5 April 2009
A reader called into the tip line reporting bad video on Comedy Central HD. No info yet on the cause.
I missed a Retailer Chat yesterday, so it's time for Recap of the Recap!
Team Summit: May 6, Howie Mandel and a surprise.
New ad slicks (here): Scotty hates them.
Scotty: "Dish is offering a Grill Apron Kit to retailers (no I am not kidding) for only $3.99!"
Finally, HD locals news. April 22: Fort Smith, Columbus-Tupelo, Grand Junction, Johnstown-Altoona. May 6: Minot-Bismarck, Sioux Falls, Rockford, Twin Falls, Butte-Bozeman, Chico-Redding. May 13: Baton Rouge (minus WBRZ?), Erie, Medford, Roanoke. May 20: Sherman-Ada. May 27: Great Falls. After May: Fot Wayne, La Crosse WI, Wausau WI, Laredo, Panama City.
Recent news takes its toll on the chat, as Scott succinctly states: "Now they go into talking about the federal "do not call lists" (This after telling dealers they are giving them lists of people who are about to get shut off for non payment... I can see a bunch of violations of Federal collections laws coming soon to Dish Network)"
Technical news: the DTVPal software update is coming soon. Reinstallation and re-time setup is required. 522/625 software: L532 brings video on demand and fast reboot, the latter of which is coming to other DVRs soon. The 222k supports two-way backup, the DP34 is now a ground block.
Scott's scared that retailers don't pay attention to Dish: many did not know of the forthcoming MTVN channels.
Dish and NFL Network settled in court today. It will remain in the 200 tier. Comcake Cable, however, is pulling it at the end of the month.
REJOICE, AMERICA! The HD channels we were promised have come, and The N in SD 24/7 is currently on channel 9576 for AT200, ending the 16-month-long smushing-together of channels. It is likely that #2 affected #1. Expect The N to replace GAS (an AT250 channel). I presume that the tier placement affected the deal and the split.
A variety of locals in HD end up on Dish, unavailable right now.
The cable CW affiliate for Erie, WBEP (which isn't real but is operated by WICU and WSEE), is coming soon. The mapping is not available at this time.
A bunch of digital subchannels were added in the 14x range.
Rejoice, Gainesville, Williamsport, and HBO on 119 haters! SD versions of Starz/HBO multichannels were removed. Williamsport gets WQMY, and Gainesville gets HD locals, including the brand-spanking-new WNBW!
Fisher-Disher News Watch: a new domain appeared yesterday. OnlyCharlieKnows.com is a very clever push from Fisher Communications, claiming that only Charlie knows what it takes to get a retrans deal done in one of Dish's most famous and most extensive disputes yet. Ironically, they include a Satellite Dish blog post from good old Scotty. (And he said, "I am surprised they have one of my articles listed up there, which is kind of funny as I am against Fisher in this entire ordeal.") Fisher has bought ad time on radio stations and is running newspaper ads, both of which are viewable.
Week of 30 March 2009
It's a last-minute save for Dish Network: Univision will stay on Dish Network as well as on Time Warner.
The locals buffet continues: KOAM, WPFO, WOGX, and KXVA have been uplinked. Columbus minus WBNS is now available. KHBB-D, a Fox affiliate for Helena, is also coming soon.
A slew of TMP channels hit 61.5 and 129 - all of them in MPEG4 HD.
The mapping shuffle continues, and the internationals do their preview dance.
Rejoice, Tucson, Columbus, Sioux City, Cheyenne, Albany GA, Youngstown, Meridian, Missoula, and LA (KCAL)! It's an HD victory for you!
Site note: All Q1 news is now at the news2009 page.
5-digit range digital subchannels were purged.
The NDTV 574 entry has been changed to more accurately reflect its subname, Imagine.
An old WOGX-HD entry was recycled for WNBW, the new NBC affiliate in Gainesville.
Watch out, Bakersfield: it's likely that the Univision RC spat could cause the loss of KUVI, Univision's only English-language station. (It's a MyNetworkTV affiliate.)
A huge jump in option awards raises Charlie's compensation. Yet Dish was devastating in 2008.
Carl Vogel resigns his post but remains on the board of directors.
New this afternoon: Get ready for a SlingLoaded cable box from EchoStar. MSO labs will get the beauty in June 2009, and volume production will start in the fourth quarter. The news comes as The Cable Show '09 gets started in our nation's capital.
¡Ay! Univisión no puede hablar con Dish porque ustedes quieren dinero! (What I just said: Get ready for another RC dispute.) Univisión fired back by saying that Dish would not accept industry-standard retrans deals. While the contract ends at 11:59 tomorrow night, the March sweeps (delayed due to DTV) end April 1, and so the signal would be cut April 2. Univision owns 64 stations and operates its namesake network, Telefutura, and Galavisión.
Week of 23 March 2009
The Consumerist: DirecTV wanted $500 for service that this guy had canceled.
Tweet tweet! Someone scored Cincinnati HD locals with Twitter and contacting Dish.
MCN: With IP-Prime going away, EchoStar is trying to woo customers over to their ViP-TV.
Uplink Report Highlights
Rejoice, Fargo: KXJB, KVLY, and KVRR have been uplinked and were made available in HD to 129.
NOTAX has reappeared on 201 for someone and is gone from 211. C-SPAN2 and C&T were added to 119 and 77 (C-SPAN2 is now on 211). HD locals coming soon or added now: WWHO (a rare CW affiliate), KESQ and KMIR (rejoice, Palm Springs!), KCAL.
WQMY, the MyNetworkTV affiliate for Williamsport, Pennsylvania, is also coming soon. Its signal was added to 9250 today but is not available to subscribers just yet.
Rejoice, Terre Haute (WTHI, WTWO, WFXW): Selma, AL (WAKA); Odessa, Texas (KOSA, KPEJ), and Miami (WSFL)! You just got the aforementioned HD locals.
WSAH was made available.
Preview dance...new channels are DIY and Planet Green.
More shuffling has happened at AAD: San Francisco locals are gone from the 5700s. JohnH says that a channel cleanup is to blame.
Week of 16 March 2009
Fire those K-GUNs! Tucson HD locals have been uplinked, but aren't available yet.
Rejoice, Pittsburgh! HD locals have hit 129 for you!
Internationals do the happy global preview dance.
Rejoice, Duluth, Yakima, Indianapolis, Corpus Christi, Kern County, Charlottesville, and Atlantic City! The first five markets got HD locals, WVIR-D (CW) was awarded to Charlottesvile, and WMGM (the secondary NBC affiliate for Philly) got on too.
Rejoice, Britton, Texas! KODF, presumably an Azteca América affiliate, is now on Dish.
FANDO changed from a data channel on 19210 to a data channel on 19210. FANDO is likely related to the Monday deal between Dish and Comcast Fandango (OpenTV + movie ticket ordering).
The march of MPEG2's deletion continues, as 5700 versions of the Atlanta locals fall by the wayside.
Two Abilene and two San Angelo market locals moved to tp 3 on 148.
HD Business channels moved to tp 17 on 121. (huh? 121? what's that? just kidding)
Various virtual channels for Charlottesville moved to 15s39 on 129 Ciel 2.
Week of 9 March 2009
A retailer chat snuck by me - and Scott - overnight. The major news: a major HD local launch in 90 days with some locals on both arcs, several HD expansions planned for the next few months, and Dish will actually be updating its retailer website to support the latest and greatest web standards. The new smart cards are being phased in, with premium services getting Nagravision 3 within the next few weeks and the whole enchilada cooked and eaten by Q3.
An employee at the Harlingen, Texas customer service center did the MCN Talkback to that cover story on Monday. The revelations are shocking indeed.
i work for dish and it seem that the company is doing bad all of a sudden we have to kiss butt on every phone call we cannot allow a customer to hang up if they even hint they want to cancel we must offer them a 50 dollar discount over 5 months, to try and keep there account (hardly worth it huh) no matter how loud a customer yells how may times a customer curses at me or insults me (they are right) no one from a supervisor to a manager will step in to calm the customer down, right now they are even forcing us to work 6 days a week to keep the average call wait to 30 seconds. if you ask me we should be able to hang up on the person who call in to say how much they hate dish, in that time i can help out someone who needs help, if i do not agree to work 6 days i can lose my job. i have always thought you cannot force great customer service out of an agent and that is exactly what they are doing at work, by now our customers know that all they have to do is call in and yell enough and the fee or charge will get waived even though they are wrong,
In summary: churn is so high that they must offer discounts, CSRs must work 6 days a week, and not agreeing to do these things could get this guy fired.
Another alarming comment: "Take it from someone who works there now that this company is a disaster. Employees hate working for this jerk and leave daily and he does nothing to make it any better. When the economy turns around there will be no one left but the idiots who drank the kool-aid"
Bruce from Ohio says the following: "Dish isn't broken.. It was never together. When I worked for Dish (97-99), I used to say the company was successful in spite of itself. There was no teamwork between departments. Everyone was 'right' and no one listened to anyone else. I 'hear' it's pretty much the same as it ever was. Which is a shame because when I first started I thought it was the end of cable. The company needs to come together internally and start listening to it's employees. Charlie likes to play hardball, so my suggestion is to drop the ueseless NFL Network and get the NFL to quit playing favorites with the Sunday ticket. That will get the phones to light up."
And a blogger in Orlando chimes in: "Why there is no mentioning of Dish's legendary tradition of constant dropping 24/7 ad-free HD channels without any explanation and never-stopping dispute with content provider? Dish's attitude toward customers is like Taliban's attitude toward woman in Afghanistan. Also their customer service is really really terrible, several time I was left by the CSR for good (I waited for 40 min with their non-personal ugly music). Oh, did I mention that those contractors also hate Dish? They almost always tell the customer that DirectV is better choice and better picture quality (I disagree with PQ). Several popular HD channels have never been added. I often found it stupid for people to say Dish's subscriber has low income. Tons of low income hispanics in Orlando area have directv, Directv vs. Dish is like 10:1 here. Despite the price is lower (Their current HD price is no longer competitive anymore), I still hate them and can't wait to pay $120 to terminate and switch to Uverse, despite the fee will rise about $40 Dish is going to file chapter 7 in 12 months. Those people on Wall Street, I also feel they are low quality, because they always fault Dish like: bad economy, lower income customer base, complicated package. Clearly those people have no clue on why Dish is losing, it is bad product, bad attitude and fundamentally bad management. No wonder our economy is near collapse." (The reference to the Taliban and women implies hostility. The Taliban is known for bombing schools to keep the girls out.)
The TMC, Showtime, and BET Jazz HD channels just went live today.
A sweeping 5 satellite addition (61.5, 110, 148, 129C2, 118.7) addition of PIRTV on 125 and 573. I'm guessing that this is to be aimed to pirates. Yarrrr!
Tribune affiliates in some markets are getting beamed up: WTTV and WSFL are coming soon as local channels on spotbeams for Indianapolis and Miami. Given the ownership, this is likely part of the major Tribune deal reached a few months ago.
Along with that shocker came WVIRD for Charlottesville, Virginia, a CW affiliate. (The other network affiliations (excluding NBC) are part of a great Gray Television triopoly.)
CBS College Sports went into a free preview at the programmer's request. The preview is supposed to run March 13 to April 7 but has likely been rounded to the nearest Wednesday.
REJOICE!Indianapolis (without WTHR), Eugene, Montgomery AL, Lafayette, Monterey-Salinas, Santa Barbara et al., Salt Lake City, KRON San Francisco, Houston, and a sprinkling of Eastern Arc for Houston all get HD or MPEG4 SD. There are three new map types: MAP-A for Eastern Arc, MAP-B is something else (engineering?), and MAP-C is for HD locals. WSFL and WTTV both have MAP-C in their uplinks.
Four temp channels were deleted, as were the MPEG4 SD MAP-B Topeka locals, a MAP-B WHP, and MAP-B WTEV/WAWS/KLRT locals.
Two international channels are moving off 61.5. They've been moved to tp 18 and weeklong replacements have been added in the 6100s.
Monday: Recap of the Recap
Holy mooing cow! '''TMC HD and two Showtime HD channels plus BET Jazz HD Wednesday, MTV Networks and Spike HD April 1!''
HD local launches this month: Albany GA, Bakersfield (without something...), Corpus Christi, Duluth, Erie, Eugene, Fargo, Indy, Lafayette, Monterey CA. Coming soon: Baton Rouge, Butte MT, Cheyenne (!), Chico-Redding CA, Columbus OH, Columbus-Tupelo MS, Fort Smith AR, Ft Wayne IN, Gainesville, Grand Junction, Great Falls, Idaho Falls, Johnstown, La Crosse, Laredo TX, Medford, Meridian MS, Minot, Missoula, Panama City, Roanoke, Rockford IL, Sherman-Ada, Sioux Falls, Tucson (yay Charles!), Twin Falls, Wausau, Youngtown.
FX and Speed are in negotiations.
MLB Network would have to be in EVERY package DN would sell to be on Dish. (Yeep!)
Fisher and Dish are caught in the net of retransmission consent. This'll take forever to sort out.
922 June 1st.
Tonight, the first in what could possibly be a series of open letters to a Charles Ergen in Meridian, Colorado.
Have you ever read Multichannel News? If you have, each week, they come out with a different cover story and write multiple articles on it. Well...this is today's cover story from MCN: "Is Dish Broken?". When you see that, sir Charlie, you have done something wrong. And in this case, you have. Your stance on retransmission consent has alienated many a subscriber over the years, and the situation now with Fisher Communications could spell disaster in the Northwest. I understand the litigation underneath precludes a settlement. But Charlie, you must fix things for the better of your business. Speaking of litigation, you have mired yourself in it. MLB, TiVo, Fisher, CalAmp. In just the 17 months that I have run the EchoStar Knowledge Base News Monitor, I've seen quite a few trials. DirecTV probably laid a goose egg in that sector, sir. When your rival is up and you're down, you know something's wrong.
I suggest you go to Scott Greczkowski's wonderful Multichannel News problem and read of the ideas he proposes. He is a Dish Network retailer and founder of one of two influential satellite TV discussion forums, satelliteguys.us. I suggest you consider his advice, for it may save a flagging Dish Network.
Sincerely, Raymie Humbert
Week of 2 March 2009
SP, Tip Line International Expert, saves me again! AGAPY 775 is Aghapy TV from Cairo, and they're actually moving from Telstar 25 to Dish Network.
Wednesday: Uplink Report Highlights
On Tuesday, 9645 became a SCENE IT LF commercial.
Atlanta is now New York on AAD, as previously reported.
New international on 775: AGAPY. As always, info wanted on the tipline.
More HD: Jacksonville, Harrisburg, Topeka, Little Rock, Peoria. New locals: WSAH (shopping), WMGM (secondary NBC in Philly).
International preview dance. Some Ciel 2 locals come online, including Las Vegas, Colorado Springs, Idaho, Reno, Rio Grande Valley, Memphis.
KTEN-D is now available.
Internationals gone from 61.5 in favor of 118.
Unavailable MPEG4 SD versions of now-HD services gone.
Week of 23 February 2009
Wednesday: SHVERA and More
Charlie at a briefing: 20-hours local or we won't carry it. 17% of Dish locals have no local content.
The uplink report: More locals being redied. WPTY, WKRC, KWKT, Fort Smith, and Grand Junction could come in HD soon.
KTEND was added to 7524, and KETH was added to 8386. KTEND is a CW affiliate (likely part of the reason KTEN is even available), while KETH is the TBN affiliate for Houston. Unavailable.
REJOICE! HD WKPT, WCIV, KVIA, WJHL, KDBC, WCSC, WCBD, WCYB, KTSM, KFOX, WTAT, WEMT, WCL, WTXL, WTOC, WCTV, WSAV, WTWC, WTGS, WTLH, KOKI, and SD WOAC were made available.
It seems to be time to reform SHVERA. Everyone has a different angle: Rep. Rick Boucher (D-VA) wants it renewed and retrans consent reformed. Rep. Anna Eshoo (D-CA) wants Dish to have to carry PBS multicast channels. Dish and DirecTV agreed that the DMA system needed changes and that broadcast carried too much power. MCN | B and C
Charlie says he has four fixes for SHVERA, which address 1) consumers unable to get state public affairs/news due to multi-state DMAs, 2) rural communities without major networks (likely including digital subchannels - Yuma El-Centro?), 3) long retrans fights, and 4) "satellite" stations that are covered under the must-carry umbrella. He also likes retrans consent reform and wants a 20-hours-local mandate for must-carry stations. B and C | MCN
And a guy named Ferree is leaping into the battle. The former FCC Media Bureau chief says that satellite ways should be changed in order to "recognize the 'extremely competitive' video delivery market". Significantly-viewed adjacent-market local channels for DMA-split markets are part of his idea, too. MCN | B and C
A comment to the B and C version of the Ferree story proposes this: "What about customers in DMAs where the channel switched to digital and the digital signal does not serve the DMA due to dropouts or weak signal. Cuustomers who do not get a digital signal 100% of the time should also be allowed to get out of market signals. Example KALB has moved from ch 5 to ch 35 and no longer serves the same area it once did but the DMA has not been changed and customers with no signal are still being told they can not get distant signals". This is a good idea, as digital signals don't have the carry of analog - and they're mostly UHF, which doesn't sit well in rugged terrain (West Virginia, for example). I think more DMAs would be the only way to solve the issue, or special translator services in weak areas.
WSYR and WXXA HD were turned on today.
Lots of delays at Dish México...at least for México City. Other areas have been launched, but poor Aransay has been kept waiting.
NPS announced its distant nets service will swap Atlanta for NYC locals March 4 due to PQ issues. Aransay had a post on this in the Uplink Report, and a SatelliteGuys thread also announces the change.
Week of 16 February 2009
Wednesday: The Uplink Report Highlights
A bunch of new HD locals coming soon on 61.5: WRCB Chattanooga, WOLF NE PA, KHAS Hastings NE, KTXS Sweetwater TX, WCTI New Bern, WSYR Syracuse, WFXI Morehead City NC, WXXA Albany. Also coming soon is the Multicultural TV station WOAC (which really airs infomercials).
AIT, an international channel, was removed, as were UWTV and GSN in the PI range. GSN appears to have ceased operations. CSPAN, TBN, and EWTN also debuted in the PI range.
Rejoice, Toledo, Dayton, Cedar Rapids, Springfield IL, Fresno, and New Orleans! You've got new HD locals on the air.
Call letter change: KWBF to KARZ. This is much faster than normal for Dish, as the change occurred on February 1. KWBF recently got bought out by KARK/Nexstar from Equity, which is not in good shape right now.
Liberty Media bought a bunch of Sirius XM stock, rescuing the flagging company. The investment is estimated at $530 million, and Liberty gets approximately 40% in the company and its board. Broadcasting and Cable | The Consumerist | Gizmodo | Betanews
MCN: DirecTV beat the odds and added 301,000 subscribers in the fourth quarter, "defying gravity" as Craig Moffett puts it.
It's the TiVo hearing, day one. Betanews puts it in context.
Dish announced that its 4Q earnings conference call would be March 2. As always, the News Monitor will have analysis and coverage of the day's news.
A bevy of television stations are turning off analog today. The Associated Press writes: "A patchwork of 641 stations across the country, mainly in thinly populated areas, are still turning off their analog broadcasts this week or have already done so. The most populous markets where many or all major-network stations are cutting analog include San Diego and Santa Barbara, Calif.; Providence, R.I.; La Crosse and Madison, Wis.; Rockford, Ill.; Sioux City, Iowa; Waco, Texas; Macon, Ga.; Scranton, Pa.; and Burlington, Vt." One station in most affected markets will stay on as the analog nightlight to provide news and public affairs information. (Read the AP story)
Week of 9 February 2009
A first in satellites occurred: an Iridium satellite and Russian satellite have collided 500 miles over Siberia.
Sirius XM could go Chapter 11. Charlie's chunk of their debt just matured, too. The legendary Muzak has fallen into Chapter 11 too, and Scott thinks it's related to a rumored double buyout of Muzak and Sirius XM. (If Charlie does that, things will not look good.
A Democratic representative from Michigan proposed that satellite channels carry all 210 DMAs.
It's another round of 77 West News, and the mythical Q*1 could be coming. QuetzSat 1 is slated for a 2011 launch at 77 West. The odd name comes from the quetzal, national bird of México.
Monday Recap of the Recap from the Tech Forum, brought to you by DBSTalk: 922 has a new program guide with logos, a weather application, tickers, and lots of other cool features. The 722k will be out in a few weeks with Custom Groups that manage DVR content and will also come to the 612/622/722 line.
Uplink Report Highlights: EchoStar V shuts down. Lots of new stuff flooding Ciel 2, and the international previews shuffle around again. WMFD and WJHG-D, either a CW or MyNetworkTV affiliate (there are both available). QTV, an international, is gone, and the 148 exodus continues with San Angelo and Abilene. TDIS -> DISXD, part of the Disney XD rebrand set for Saturday. TJC is now MERC - more info wanted on the tip line. WTOK3 became WTOKD, a CW affiliate.
Week of 2 February 2009
Orbitcast: Would Dish/EchoStar be able to take over Sirius XM? The prospect is really interesting, as EchoStar has been taking big chunks of debt from them. Would the FCC allow it, I wonder?
Lots of Ciel-2 moves. Internationals also moved off 61.5 to 118 fully.
WRAY, WMFP, et. al, WJEB, KDMI, and other stations were turned on.
Mappings have been removed in Casper, and the KAZT map is now 7, the actual full-power channel number.
The NDTV channel was turned on, and a few previews shuffled around. ShopNBC is now on 134. Fox News is now in a monthlong free preview.
TiVo Update: Some sort of motion and patent defense.
A correction to the telco story yesterday...I was talking MAJOR telcos as stated in Multichannel News's original article.
A huge pairing of additions came today, and the EKB Smart List filled up on the story. A carriage renewal deal with Fox brings the widening of FNC's distribution (MCN), the launch of its HD network, and the launch of the Fox Business Network (TVNewser. This now signals the second of three major gaps in FBN's distribution closed (the third being Cablevision of New York City). FBN is now in 50 million homes (Broadcasting and Cable) and FNC's Dish distribution to 11 million homes.
Barclays has reduced its stake in DirecTV, selling 45 million shares.
Crime and Investigation HD replaced the Smithsonian today.
Dish has a new chief marketing officer/senior VP, Ira Bahr. Bahr formerly worked with Dish Network in a similar post.
The end is here...the last telco using Dish for bundles has switched to DirecTV.
My EKB Smart List got flooded today...it contains the keyword "Comcast" - and two hours to the south, Comcast customers (keep in mind that Cox is dominant there too) got porn. (The first link is considered NSFW, which for those who don't read blogs means has a sexual connotation, genitals, or other similar matters; it contains video of the event.) It's rumored that everyone is getting a $5 discount from Comcake Cable. Everybody from The Consumerist to Gizmodo to Multichannel News and Broadcasting and Cable got in on the story. It was not KVOA (the NBC affiliate)'s fault, which isolates the problem to Comcast. The HD feed was not affected, either.
Week of 26 January 2009
New Ciel2 locals and WNBW for those in Gainesville. KUIL got dropped, which was not a surprise (I reported on it last month). My guess? Since they no longer have Fox (and are now a WCIU knockoff), they weren't good enough for Dish. A preview danceand the turning on of KBMT-D, and we have the week.
News backlog: NFL Network, A&E, MTV Networks, a new analyst, Comcast Spotlight and NCC tackle RSN ad sales, Scotty rants about 2009, a Kevin Martin D* order, and one analyst's report takes DISH up 11%! (Right now, SATS is worth more than DISH.)
Week of 19 January 2009
New locals getting ready at 148.
Internationals at 148 in the 6100s...they're movin', folks! Their primary channels are all on tp 11, which is a signal of moves. 148, which has been a half-location since EchoStar II's death, is being cleared off (likely to remove it, as EchoStar I is rather moribund).
More Eastern Arc MPEG4 SD locals for markets nationwide.
Rejoice! WPCH is up on 6369 now. Yay!
RFI has left the air. The audio channel on 660 was removed.
WSEE-T is gone, and WVXF has been replaced from WSEEP. This is a special variant of WSEE, the Erie CBS affiliate.
A bunch of TMP moves. These channels are HD in the 4800s.
WTOK-D was changed to WGBC-D, and is presumably now a Fox affiliate.
Week of 12 January 2009
Where exactly did Dish launch new stuff? Turns out the new services were in Abilene, Joplin, Little Rock, Louisville, Springfield MO, Wichita Falls, and Scranton-Wilkes-Barre.
The DTV transition is merely a month away, and a few shady Dish installers will inevitably take advantage of it...and this installer has by saying Dish was the only alternative to nothing.
Wednesday: Uplink Report Highlights
Ciel-2 is revving up with HD locals for Atlanta, Austin, Beaumont, Charlotte, Chicago, Cleveland, Columbus, Des Moines, Detroit, Fargo, Fort Myers, Grand Rapids, Green Bay, Joplin, Kansas City, Lincoln, Los Angeles, Memphis, Minneapolis, Mobile, Nashville, Norfolk, Omaha, Orlando, Palm Springs, Peoria, Pittsburgh, Raleigh, Richmond, Roanoke, Sherman-Ada, St. Louis, Tampa, Topeka, Waco, West Palm Beach, Wichita Falls, Abilene, Casper, Charlottesville, Charleston-Huntington WV, Clarksburg-Weston WV, Columbus again, Dayton, Erie, San Angelo, Sioux City, Wausau, Fairbanks, Juneau, Indianapolis, Bakersfield, and many, many other markets!
INDUS is on 678 at 61.5 tp 18 (probably related to internationals).
A slew of temps on 110, 61.5, and 129 in the 4800s. New HD channels!?
Free preview changes...
842 and 853 were removed.
WCEU was changed to WDSC. This is a PBS affiliate affiliated with Daytona State College in Florida.
EchoStar will be delivering satellite services for emergency management under a deal with Vredes.
That Fox News item I posted about the other week was a half-joke, I've been informed.
It's a case of Freedom is Slavery, as the CBS affiliate in Grand Rapids isn't in HD on Dish, and Freedom Communications hasn't negotiated: "We have been in a dispute with DISH for the last year. The main issue is compensation. At this point, either side seems willing to bend. This dispute affects all of our Freedom Stations in six states. I do not expect an early resolution to this dispute. Have you considered changing services?". There's contact details in the thread.
BobaBird does have CES pictures, but scaling them is a mess right now...and once he has a finished product, they will be linked to from here.
Week of 5 January 2009
SP at the tip line: The NDTV channel coming to 574 is NDTV Imagine (citing this source) and not the DirecTV-exclusive NDTV 24x7.
My, my! Today was one of the biggest days for News Monitor materials, with no less than four blogs talking Charlie. Multichannel News reported that Dish is to offer a $10.00 promotional package to new customers on the 1st. The 922 will have a touchpad on its unique remote. The UI and remote for the 922 were knighted as CES Innovations 2009 Design and Engineering Award recipients.
Our friends at Gizmodo report on the Sling Monitor, a 15-inch HD display that you can "Sling" video to from the 922 using Wi-Fi.
Sling Media unveiled the web-based SlingGuide. If the DVR is SlingLoaded (922) or has a Slingbox hooked to it, people can watch their DVR shows through a web version of SlingPlayer built into SlingGuide. The first availability will occur with the launch of the 922. (read the Betanews coverage)
SlingPlayer was released in beta form for BlackBerry.
Morning catches from my feeds:
KTKA is back on as Free State reaches a deal with Dish. KTKA HD will also be in the cards when Topeka HD locals launch.
The 922 it is! Gizmodo gets a presser from Dish and I see this beautiful news item in my feed list. It even looks like there's an iPhone-specific experience for it. 1 TB or storage, Sling capabilities, coming spring 2009. The SlingLoaded logo appears on the front of the box, as does the TurboHD logo.
Wednesday: Uplink Report Highlights
NDTV 24/7 will be added on 574. This channel is an Indian news service used by MSNBC during the Mumbai attacks.
Abilene will soon get KTAB and KRBC in HD.
A bevy of internationals waltzed to the 6100s and were moved to tp 18 on 61.5, an impending sign of their removal.
ITMP1 is on 61.5 tp 18 and is likely related to the internationals' removal.
New channels: WPCH HD has been reuplinked (but on a spot beam), WIPB Muncie, WCHU Rochelle, WMFD Mansfield, and KDMI Des Moines.
New digital subchannel info additions in Texas, Ohio, and Michigan. The Texas addition is KBTX, which could be a sign of retransmission consent agreements FINALLY occurring for this Bryan, Texas TV station.
International preview changes.
Rejoice, Huntsville and Alaska-Hawaii! It's new HD for both, with Huntsville getting WAAY and our 49th and 50th states receiving HD channels like TLC and The Weather Channel HD.
Holiday mapdowns were removed and 982 has disappeared.
WSEET appeared on 7985 for Puerto Rico. Unavailable, and even Nel J. Torres is confused with the switch back to WSEE, the CBS affiliate for Erie, Pennsylvania.
The 722s is possibly now the 922, which will be the Swiss Army of Dish Network.
KTKA got dropped then reached a deal. Missed this retrans consent spat.
Sling Media plans to release an iPhone client by March and support HD streaming on the Mac.
NBC added in Beaumont, but WYBE is removed as a PBS duplicate when it isn't.
Week of 29 December 2008 cont'd.
Monday through Wednesday are at the 2008 archives.
General new year housekeeping.
Of course, MLB Network isn't on Dish - blame Charlie's refusal to renew Extra Innings. The EI renewal deal also included a stake in MLB Network equity.