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WBKB use of an FCC escape clause; form of censorship

June 27, 2013
George Perry , The Alpena News

WBKB has been without an off air signal for over two and a half weeks. In my 62 years and of all the different locations where I've lived, I never remember a television station being down this long or as many times.

Unfortunately WBKB uses an FCC escape clause, which allows them to force viewers in the viewing area to watch off air CBS only if WBKB broadcasts it. In other words, if someone in the viewing area is receiving CBS from WBKB on an outside antenna, WBKB can refuse and does, those viewers the right to use other means of receiving the CBS broadcast, such as by DirecTV. Can WBKB allow it? Yes they could but, they won't and make it very clear. My visit to WBKB's office and conversations with a manager of some sort, pretty much determined my future and current opinion of WBKB.

Although DirecTV will provide the CBS signal, it must be given permission by WBKB to do so. WBKB told me during my visit, that because DirecTV wouldn't let them beam up a signal and broadcast it back into the viewing area, not a single person in the viewing area would ever receive CBS from DirecTV. I was personally shown a stack of paper requests 2" thick and was told that they were denied before even looked at, a matter of WBKB policy. So if WBKB broadcasts it, they have determined through an FCC escape clause, that they can prevent you from getting it any place else. A form of Censorship? You decide for yourself.

George Perry

Hubbard Lake

 
 

 

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