NBC began scrambling one of its satellite feed signals last week, the first network to act to stop satellite dish owners from picking up its broadcasts.
The network began scrambling its C-band transmission at 2 a.m. Nov. 1. C-band is used to feed NBC programs to its affiliates in Alaska and Hawaii but it also is the band that most satellite dishes are equipped to pick up.The majority of NBC affiliates receive the network feeds on its KU-band.
There are 2 million satellite dishes operating around the United States and a spokesman for SPACE, the Satellite Television Industry Association, said the market is growing by about 25,000 a month.
Satellite dish owners who take network programming off network feeds do not receive the local advertising messages that help pay for the programs.
ABC is still studying scrambling, and a CBS spokesperson said the network has held off scrambling because there are still "white spaces" in the country - areas that cannot receive local station signals and must rely on satellite dish receivers.