90.9 WBUR - Boston's NPR news station
Top Stories:
PLEDGE NOW
Here and Now with Robin Young
Public radio's live
midday news program
With sponsorship from
Mathworks - Accelerating the pace of engineering and science
Accelerating the pace
of engineering and science
Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Why Are Some TV Channels Blacked Out By Cable And Satellite Companies?

In Miami, viewers missed out on the Golden Globe awards. In Corpus Christi, Texas, a dispute with Time Warner has blacked out NBC, Telemundo, and more.

And in Boston, subscribers to Direct TV can’t watch the local station owned by Sunbeam TV. That could be a problem on Super Bowl Sunday!

Dispute Behind The Blackouts

The blackouts are being caused by disputes between local TV channels and cable and satellite companies.

For example, in Boston, Sunbeam Television owns the local NBC affiliate, and they’ve failed to come to an agreement with Direct TV over retransmission rights– fees that cable and satellite providers pay to local affiliates. That means NBC is all static on Direct TV in the Boston area.

Members of Congress are urging the groups to come to an agreement. Massachusetts Senator John Kerry noted that this is the third year in a row that he’s written to the FCC about a retransmission dispute.

Last year, more than 30 markets had blackouts.

Guest:

  • Alex Sherman, Bloomberg News

Please follow our community rules when engaging in comment discussion on this site.
  • J Frog

    Get a cheap antenna and program your TV.  Anyone close to a major city should always be able to get the major networks and PBS in HD.

Robin and Jeremy

Robin Young and Jeremy Hobson host Here & Now, a live two-hour production of NPR and WBUR Boston.

August 29 Comment

World Championship Tug-Of-War Is ‘A Thing Of Beauty’

This weekend's competition in Wisconsin is a bit more intense than it was in your grade school gym class.

August 29 Comment

Repelling Mosquitoes With A Natural Sticky Patch

The Kite Patch releases odors that block the bug's carbon dioxide receptors, sending them in another direction.

August 28 Comment

Catching Up With The Polyphonic Spree

The choral rock band out of Dallas, Texas, has been thrilling audiences with its live performances for over a decade.

August 28 5 Comments

‘Enormous’ Growth Of Ocean Garbage Patch

The oceanographer who discovered the floating island of trash in 1997 says he's shocked by how much it's grown.