I hope that everyone has contacted their member of congress by now regarding the loss of "Distant Network Channels" on Dish Satellite. For those of you who did not attend the meeting with Wayne Kinney from Senator Wyden's office a general overview of the situation seems to be as follows:

There are approximately 170 Designated Market Areas within the United States. These are defined by the Neilson Organization. Satellite providers are allowed by law to provide the four major network signals (ABC, CBS, NBC, Fox) only to subscribers from stations within their DMA. For example Oregon is divided into 7 DMA, Portland, Eugene, Bend, Yakima, Wash., Spokane, Wash., and Boise, Idaho. We in Grant County have been placed in the Boise, Idaho DMA by Neilson, therefore satellite providers can only provide us with network signals originating from Boise.

Dish Satellite had reached agreement with all the networks except FOX to allow them to provide distant signals to subscribers. In our case that was usually New York and or Portland. We were informed by Mr. Kinney that FOX owns Direct Satellite.

One might wonder why any network would care where we receive their signal from. Maybe it could be that Direct does not have the ability to serve customers around the country with the choices that Dish can, thereby putting Direct at a competitive disadvantage. Were I a Direct TV customer I would seriously consider changing to Dish TV as a matter of principle.

Another question in my mind is why Congress feels it is their business to dictate what TV station we can watch. The last time I checked we can subscribe to any newspaper in the world, listen to any radio station our receiver is capable of picking up or accessing any Web page on the Internet.

Write or call Congress and the Neilson organization with your thoughts!

Claude Baker

John Day

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