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 26 2 Comments

It’s Not Business As Usual In Ferguson, Missouri

From barber shops to bike shops, WBUR's Deborah Becker looks at what the protests have meant for businesses.

August 26 77 Comments

A Fan Says No To Football

Steve Almond writes, "our allegiance to football legitimizes and ever fosters within us a tolerance for violence, greed, racism, and even homophobia."

August 25 12 Comments

Pediatricians Group: Delay School Start Times So Teens Can Sleep

Many studies have shown that the average adolescent doesn't get enough sleep, and that can cause physical and mental health issues.

August 25 11 Comments

A Police Officer On Lessons From Ferguson

Jim Bueermann says the shooting of Michael Brown and the aftermath point to the need for a conversation about policing in the U.S.