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Old 04-10-2012, 09:22 PM   #1
SirMontego
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FCC violation to deny sports packages and PPV to cablecard users?

Can anyone give me information on whether my cable company refusing to provide a cablecard user with access to sports packages (MLB Extra Innings, NBA League Pass, and NHL Center Ice) and live pay-per-view showings is a violation of FCC rule or order?

My cable company does not allow cablecard users to access sports packages and pay-per-view. See: http://www.oceanic.com/products/television/cablecard

Here's my argument:

Specifically, it is my understanding that FCC rules "require cable operators to ensure that cable subscribers who use retail CableCARD navigation devices have satisfactory access to all linear channels" source: http://transition.fcc.gov/Daily_Rele...C-10-181A1.pdf paragraph 14.

Additionally, "Subscribers must be able to use the devices they purchase at retail to access all of the linear channels that comprise the cable package they purchase. Providing retail navigation devices and leased navigation devices with equivalent access to linear programming at an equivalent service price is essential to a retail market for navigation devices. " Id. (same cite as above)

The term linear programming basically means, on a certain channel at a certain time. "The term “linear programming” is generally understood to refer to video programming that is prescheduled by the programming provider. Cf. 47 U.S.C. § 522(12) (defining “interactive on-demand services” to exclude “services providing video programming prescheduled by the programming provider”) Id at footnote 26.

It would appear that live sports programming such as MLB, NBA, and NHL games clearly start at a designated time. It also seems that they start on a designated channel. They therefore fit the definition of linear programming.

Similarly, pay-per-view sports like boxing, mixed martial arts, and college games and pay-per-view wrestling events also start at a designated time. And to watch those events, a viewer must tune to a specific channel. They also fit the definition of linear programming.

Replays of those events, particularly those on-demand, don't fit the definition of linear programming. Similarly, PPV movies that are on-demand also do not meet the definition of linear programing.

Since my cable company, pursuant to FCC order, must provide a cablecard user with access to linear programming, how can they deny cablecard users access to live sports and wrestling shows?

Here are some other rules I've read (47 CFR 76.1205): http://www.law.cornell.edu/cfr/text/47/76.1205
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Old 04-10-2012, 09:53 PM   #2
lpwcomp
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Linear programming is not the same as linear channel.
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Old 04-11-2012, 08:17 AM   #3
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Are you sure they are denying you? Is it possible they just assume it won't work?

I know I see people constantly comment how TiVo doesn't work with PPV which is actually incorrect. TiVo with CABLECards can get any PPV that you tune a physical channel to watch as long as you can order it online or over the phone. My friends used to get all the UFC fights this way on their TiVo HD. You just have to find out the channel it airs on.
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Old 04-11-2012, 08:17 AM   #4
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This is not an FCC violation, unfortunately.
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Old 04-11-2012, 08:20 AM   #5
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I read that as "a channel that constantly plays shows and is part of your package." Not a channel that intermittently shows things when you pay for the specific thing it is showing.

So, for example, if they have a sports package that includes MLBTV, and you can buy the package, you should get MLBTV.

But I don't see anything that suggests, to me, that if MLBTV is a stand alone package that they have to let you subscribe to it as MLBTV is a seasonal offering across multiple channels with lots of downtime in between.

I'm no expert though.. that's just how I read that.
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Old 04-11-2012, 11:08 AM   #6
celtic pride
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that doesnt make any sense to me,i have verizon fios and a2 tivo premieres with cablecards and i get the nba league pass,so i would think you should be able to get nba league pass ,or the mlb package or nhl games on twc like verizon,unless they simply dont carry sports channel packages btw isnt twc the ones that still dont carry the nfl network? i think twc is very reluctent to pay the higher fees for sports channels.
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Old 04-11-2012, 08:12 PM   #7
SirMontego
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Thanks for the input. I guess I won't be filing a complaint letter on this.
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Old 04-11-2012, 08:15 PM   #8
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I would still file a letter. Worst case nothing happens or they will tell you this isn't part of the mandate.
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Old 04-12-2012, 12:39 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by slowbiscuit View Post
This is not an FCC violation, unfortunately.
Darn, I was going to vote for the Buffet rule if they mandated ESPN. I guess they won't get a raise from me...
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Old 04-12-2012, 02:02 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by innocentfreak View Post
Are you sure they are denying you? Is it possible they just assume it won't work?

I know I see people constantly comment how TiVo doesn't work with PPV which is actually incorrect. TiVo with CABLECards can get any PPV that you tune a physical channel to watch as long as you can order it online or over the phone. My friends used to get all the UFC fights this way on their TiVo HD. You just have to find out the channel it airs on.
Actually, that is not true if the provider uses their "On Demand" mechanism for PPV. In that case, it is not just a matter of temporarily authorizing a particular channel for the duration of the program; your device has to be able to play their "On Demand" protocol (which is now available for Premier/Elite Comcast users in the San Francisco Bay area).
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Old 04-12-2012, 06:27 PM   #11
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The exact wording says

Quote:
Does not provide access to PPV, two-way programming and services, such as Interactive Program Guide, Movies On Demand, Premiums On Demand, and Season Sports Packages
I read this to mean that the things that won't work are listed because they require two-way access, which CableCards don't provide, not because the company wants to deny you from using them. I'm surprised that "Season Sports Packages" require two-way communication, but that must be how they have decided to deliver those in your cable system. Perhaps they are severely bandwidth-limited?
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Old 04-13-2012, 06:37 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by Mr. E View Post
The exact wording says



I read this to mean that the things that won't work are listed because they require two-way access, which CableCards don't provide, not because the company wants to deny you from using them. I'm surprised that "Season Sports Packages" require two-way communication, but that must be how they have decided to deliver those in your cable system. Perhaps they are severely bandwidth-limited?
I don't know of any TWC market that requires two-way communication for sports packages.
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Old 04-13-2012, 09:24 AM   #13
innocentfreak
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CharlesH View Post
Actually, that is not true if the provider uses their "On Demand" mechanism for PPV. In that case, it is not just a matter of temporarily authorizing a particular channel for the duration of the program; your device has to be able to play their "On Demand" protocol (which is now available for Premier/Elite Comcast users in the San Francisco Bay area).
Hence why I said any PPV where you tune a physical channel. The on demand PPV don't come in a specific channel that you can tune to with a CABLECard. It also is as you said on demand and not airing at a set time like a regular show you just have to be authorized to receive.

I know it works on FiOS, Brighthouse and Comcast. I don't know anyone who has tried it on other providers. They have used it to get a few movies but mostly they use it for UFC/WWE type events.
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Old 04-14-2012, 10:44 AM   #14
rainwater
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Quote:
Originally Posted by innocentfreak View Post
Hence why I said any PPV where you tune a physical channel. The on demand PPV don't come in a specific channel that you can tune to with a CABLECard. It also is as you said on demand and not airing at a set time like a regular show you just have to be authorized to receive.

I know it works on FiOS, Brighthouse and Comcast. I don't know anyone who has tried it on other providers. They have used it to get a few movies but mostly they use it for UFC/WWE type events.
I've ordered PPV (mainly UFC) for my TiVos through Charter and TWC without any issues.
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Old 04-16-2012, 07:02 PM   #15
Mr. E
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Originally Posted by rainwater View Post
I don't know of any TWC market that requires two-way communication for sports packages.
If that's the case, then maybe that note is just wrong and the entire thread is moot. OP, did you call to confirm the information about sports packages on CableCard, or are you just relying on that FAQ entry on the web being correct?
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Old 04-16-2012, 07:06 PM   #16
SirMontego
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Originally Posted by Mr. E View Post
If that's the case, then maybe that note is just wrong and the entire thread is moot. OP, did you call to confirm the information about sports packages on CableCard, or are you just relying on that FAQ entry on the web being correct?
I called to try and subscribe and was told that since I have a cable card, there is no way I can get the sports packages (unless, obviously, I get a cable box). I also initied a chat and and was told the same thing.
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Old 04-16-2012, 07:13 PM   #17
SirMontego
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I real point of this thread is whether there is any FCC authority for me to require Oceanic Time Warner Cable to provide those features to me.

You folks may be correct in saying the technology ALLOWS for <fill in the blank>, but that's not going to get me very far. While I may be able to convince a mid level manager that they can physically give me the <fill in the blank> package and he'll transfer me to a higher level manager where I can repeat myself, and then again and again, but that's just going to end with someone up high saying "that's not our policy".

I'd much rather point to some FCC authority and say "give me the sports package because of FCC Rule ____" because that's a million times more effective. And when my cable company says no, I can just report the FCC violation to my State Cable Television Regulation Division and they'll take care of the problem.
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Old 04-19-2012, 12:15 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SirMontego View Post
I real point of this thread is whether there is any FCC authority for me to require Oceanic Time Warner Cable to provide those features to me.

You folks may be correct in saying the technology ALLOWS for <fill in the blank>, but that's not going to get me very far. While I may be able to convince a mid level manager that they can physically give me the <fill in the blank> package and he'll transfer me to a higher level manager where I can repeat myself, and then again and again, but that's just going to end with someone up high saying "that's not our policy".

I'd much rather point to some FCC authority and say "give me the sports package because of FCC Rule ____" because that's a million times more effective. And when my cable company says no, I can just report the FCC violation to my State Cable Television Regulation Division and they'll take care of the problem.
you would thing Time Warner would want the money. Have you tried calling Tivo?
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