How to apply for a satellite waiver

Published: Jul. 18, 2005 at 3:12 PM EDT|Updated: Jul. 20, 2005 at 8:59 PM EDT
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(Columbia) - This page provides information about requesting a waiver from WIS Television, granting you the right to receive NBC television network programming from a distant network affiliate on your satellite dish.

It is illegal for satellite companies to sell distant network services to households that can receive local broadcasters' free over-the-air signal from a rooftop antenna. Those subscribers who can not receive an over-the-air signal from a rooftop antenna may request a waiver to receive a distant signal via their satellite dish.

Congress recently passed new legislation governing the transmission of both local and distant network broadcast stations over satellite systems. If you receive a distant network signal, your satellite provider will not allow you to receive a local channel from the same network.

Subscribers should request a waiver for distant signals by sending their request directly to their satellite company. The satellite company will forward requests they feel have merit to the local affiliates for consideration. Local stations are required to respond to requests they receive from satellite companies within 30 days. In many cases, the satellite companies can forward requests electronically to local affiliates, which speeds up processing. WIS will only consider waiver requests received from a satellite company.

To submit waiver requests through your satellite company, use the following contact information:

Dish Network Customer Service
1-800-333-DISH (1-800-333-3474)

Direct TV Customer Service
1-800-DIRECTV (1-800-347-3288)

Some affiliates like WIS and the satellite companies have access to sophisticated computer modeling software, which is utilized when considering waiver requests. It takes into account the coverage of our television signal, a viewer's location, and interference factors such as terrain. The computer model tells us, with a fairly high degree of accuracy, what signal strength a particular location should be receiving.

The grade B signal cut-off established by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is 20dbu for channel 10. Signal strengths at or above that level are considered to be viewable TV signals. Many waiver requests that are submitted are from viewers who receive a signal well above the 20dbu minimum considered to be a viewable signal from WIS using a properly installed rooftop antenna and are therefore denied.

Under federal law your satellite provider can only provide WIS 's signal in some parts of South Carolina . We encourage you to contact your DBS provider with any questions you may have concerning the availability of local signals via satellite dish in your area.

Again, requests to receive distant network programming on your satellite dish should be sent to your satellite carrier. If this has been done for you and you have been notified that WIS has denied your waiver request, you can file an appeal. The following is information on how to apply for a satellite waiver appeal:

Your request must be submitted by mail and contain your signature. We do not accept email or telephone appeals. The letter must contain your full name, street address - not a PO Box number, your phone number, the name of your satellite carrier, and email address if you have one. Send the appeal letter to:

Satellite Waivers
c/o WIS Television
PO Box 367
Columbia, SC 29202

Further information regarding the legislation which governs waiver requests and off-air antennas is available online by clicking here. If you have questions regarding waiver requests which were not answered here please e-mail or call 803-758-1232 .

We look forward to serving you in the future and providing both network and local programming to you and the entire viewing area.