Cable/Satellite TV for a business

I"m helping someone set up his office in a commercial building, and when I went to set up cable TV (Comcast) I was shocked to find out that you can’t get the same type of TV programing as you can for residential. The guy claimed it was a federal regulation, but I wonder if he was BS’ing me because Comcast just has shitty offerings. I mean, how do bars and restaurants get good TV packages with all the sports content, etc?

Does anyone here have experience with this? The guy I’m helping wants to be get a many NFL games as he can. Is Satellite any better than Comcast in that respect? I’ve been a Comcast guy forever, and don’t really have experience with Satellite.

Seems ridiculous.

I worked for Circuit City back in the day, and we had to have cable in order to service TVs (for weird complaints like “every channel works except for HBO!”) I’m not sure if the stores had it, but you could walk past a Best Buy and see if they’re showing any cable channels.

I then moved on to Verizon, where we had cable piped into our call center mainly so we could watch the weather channel to see where storms were brewing. We serviced the entire northeastern seaboard, so local channels wouldn’t have been sufficient.

Then I worked for DC Government in their citywide network ops center and we had cable news on all the time so that we could see how government service disruptions were being reported by the local media. It was not uncommon to find the channel “accidentally” switched over to HBO, especially on holidays and during the graveyard shift.

IANAL but I’ll bet it’s because of licensing. When I watch a DVD I’ve purchased or rented, it starts with a warning that the disc is not licensed for public viewing (and it lists a bunch of places that qualify as public places, including schools, churches, and oddly enough, offshore oil platforms). Similarly, if a bar or restaurant plays a local radio station, it’s expected to pay fees to ASCAP or BMI for the music.

So I suspect the same thing is going to be true for cable television in a commercial setting.

Your last sentence isn’t true. You generally don’t need ASCAP liscenses for playing radio or TV broadcasts in commercial settings.

I’m not sure your first sentence is true See “Why Do I Have to Pay Royalties?”

This FAQ from ASCAP says that whether a restaurant or bar has to play licensing fees depends on the size of the establishment, number of loudspeakers, etc. And here is the FAQ from BMI. In short, it’s complicated.

Thanks, Juliet! :smiley: