Reason to cut the cord: Sinclair Broadcasting vs. Dish Network

The short explanation to the Sinclair Broadcasting vs. Dish Network dispute is:

Sinclair Broadcasting owns many Over-the-Air (OTA) television stations across the country.
Sinclair Broadcasting charges a fee to cable and satellite providers to broadcast their channels.
Sinclair Broadcasting and Dish Network could not agree to the fees being charged.
Sinclair Broadcasting pulled its channels from the Dish Network.

This is a common issue for folks that still get TV over cable or satellite. You usually start seeing both sides adding ticker’s to the channels indicating the pending outage and blaming each other. Also, Sinclair Broadcasting seems to always be on one side of the disputes. Lucky for cable or satellite subscribers all Sinclair Broadcasting’s channels are OTA and can be picked up by an antenna.

I challenge everyone to explore a Netflix, Hulu and OTA combo. I found with just the three I could watch all the shows I was watching on cable and all for less than $25 a month (Netflix $7.99, Hulu $7.99, Tablo Guide Subscription $4.99).

That all works out just fine until the discussion turns to sports and regional sports networks, or cable exclusive shows that don’t make it to Netflix, Hulu or Amazon Prime.

I’d be quite happy if DirecTV sent me an email and told me that I’m on my own for locals, but cord cutting isn’t everyone’s bag of rocks. And some that try it end up back on pay TV in short order.

I agree with the regional sports thing, but at least you can get live NFL, MLB, NBA, and NHL games, plus, X-Games, The Olympics, soccer and gymnastics OTA. Sinclair Broadcasting is even going to start producing a local sports channel so you can see things like high school games.

I personally see the future of TV to be all streaming services. You will still have services like Netflix and Hulu but I see the major sports franchises, premium cable channels and individual networks all offering streaming services independent of cable and satellite contracts similar to what HBO is doing. You will also be able to consolidate all your subscriptions on a device like a Roku, Although, I have to imagine that having a subscription to every service will cost as much or more than what cable and satellite charge now. At least everything will be À la carte, and I believe that’s what most folks want anyways.

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Drop the locals and add more channels. Locals can be had for FREE with antenna.

I remember when cable first started they had the “must carry” rule because the local stations wanted to be on cable. If they don’t want to be there for FREE then drop them “must carry” rules could come back. TV owners are getting greedy.

Just to clarify, tv stations have two choices. If they want “must carry”, then they can’t charge cable or satellite providers for displaying it. If they choose not to use “must carry”, then they can charge a fee.

The problem is that if one of the providers for a city decides not to carry ABC, CBS, NBC, etc, they will be at a big disadvantage to the other providers that are paying to show it. The FCC could fix it in a minute by allowing cable and satellite providers to use a national feed over a local one, but that might bankrupt the local affiliates since no one would pay.

At one point, I thought the Tablo folks were working with smaller cable companies to provide Tablos and antennas for their customers so they could avoid those high rebroadcast fees.

  • When cable TV first came out the networks were “afraid” that they
    would be put out of business so they petitioned the FCC for the
    “Must Carry” rules (Locals on Cable).
  • When Satellite TV first came out the cable companies were
    "afraid"that they would be put out of business so they petitioned
    the FCC for the “Can’t Carry” rules (No locals on satellite).

Now that those rules have been relaxed everyone’s afraid they will be put out of business by Netflix.