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Orange, CA
reply to kd6cae

Re: How can distributors be allowed to just pull channels?

said by kd6cae:

Can the provider itself somehow truly prevent the distributor from receiving the signal from the originating satelite?

In a nutshell, this is how it works:

A media company that owns 1 or more TV channels for distribution, beams them to a commercial operated satellite, and encrypts the stream with a encryption that can be decrypted with say.... 100 different decryption keys. Each of those 100 encryption keys is different, but can be used to decrypt the stream.

Distributors, like Dish, DirecTV, Comcast, Time Warner, Brighthouse, Cox, FIOS, U-Verse, and dozens of smaller, local cable companies receive this feed by satellite, and are issued a single decryption key - one of the 100 - by the media company to decrypt the feed. They in turn re-distribute, re-encode, re-work the feed for their own system. Cable companies distribute it across their cable network, U-verse converts it to IP-TV, DirecTV and Dish beam it to their OWN satellite for customers to receive. 100 keys is a fictional number of course, just used as an example.

If a network needs to be pulled, it can happen any of 2 ways.

1) The distributor simply replaces the channel with something else, or nothing at all.

2) The media company revokes the encryption key for 1 particular company, and that company now no longer can decrypt the channel, and gets a black screen instead. Other companies that do not have a dispute, continue to receive the feed without issue.

So, it all depends who gets pissed off the most whether 1 or 2 happens.
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