SATELLITE NETWORK FEEDS

With the passage of the Satellite Viewers Act late 1999, there are now two options available to the RV'er for receiving network feeds (ABC, CSB, NBC, FOX and PBS) via the satellite:

  • Obtain waivers from each of your local network TV stations.   This can be a very time-consuming process, and some TV stations will not grant you a waiver.   There is a website available at http://www.getAwaiver.com which will automate the process for you and allow you to track the waiver process.   This is the same process that has been in effect for quite some time.
  • With the recent law, RV'ers (along with truckers) are granted a special exemption that allows them to receive all the network feeds.   However, you will have to contact your satellite provider and have them send you any forms that you will need to complete.   Typically, this includes your affirming that the satellite receiver will not be used at a fixed residence and also sending them a copy of your RV registration.

However, as of Dec 23, 2001, both DISH and DirecTV have been ordered to ONLY provide LOCAL channels within 150 mile radius of the local TV broadcast area.   (This is accomplished by the use of "spot beam" technology).   For example, if your home address is near Chicago and you have subscribed to the Chicago local channels, then you not be able to receive these channels on your satellite when you are in St Louis, since this is more than 150 miles from Chicago.   As of 12/23/01, DirecTV has complied with this order, but DISH has challenged it in court.   So, if you are with DISH, you are still receiving your local channels (as of 6/02), but if you are with DirecTV, you are not.

Eventually, it is expected that DISH will also be ordered to comply with the FCC ruling.   Since most RV'ers will travel more than 150 miles from their home, the answer is to subscribe to the NETWORK feeds.   When you subscribe to network feeds, you will have your choice of East Coast (Eastern Timezone) or West Coast (Pacific Timezone), or you can subscribe to both.

- Submitted by Bob Cook