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February 26, 2009 Newsletter

- Letter from Executive Director

- First SBCA Leadership Luncheon a Success

- State Government Activities

- Member Spotlight: Sky Web, Inc.

- New Member Benefits
 


Letter from the Executive Director

The staff at the Satellite Broadcasting and Communications Association has hit the ground running this year. We have stepped up efforts to find out what is most important to our membership with new programs such as the successful Leadership Luncheon Roundtable and a new Satellite Industry Leadership Council currently being formed.

Our industry also starts 2009 facing a challenging set of continuing and new legislative obstacles to fair competition, and an economy where every little bit we can do help our customer base and our industry is going to be key. We have answered by intensifying our state legislative lobbying efforts and we are developing many new SBCA programs to add to the set of current benefits for association members.

We also encourage you to become involved in your industry. Contact us to find out how to help protect your local business and how the SBCA can help.

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First SBCA Leadership Luncheon a Success

Featured guests include: Tom Haywood, President Applied Instruments SBCA Board Member, Blake Van Emst, VP Retail Sales DISH Network, Lori Kalani, SBCA Board Chair, DISH Network, Joe Widoff, Executive Director SBCA, Mike Palkovic, Executive VP Operations DirecTV, Andrew Reinsdorf, SBCA Vice Chair, DirecTV

The year began in early January with the start of the SBCA Leadership Luncheon Series launched in Las Vegas during the Consumer Electronics Show.  The annual event is part of the Association’s effort to step up communications both among satellite industry players to develop an active role for SBCA to support the satellite industry and to advance the interests of the industry in the political and consumer arenas.

Over thirty folks attended the satellite industry roundtable, representing distributors, manufacturers, installation providers and retailers.  Attendees heard from Mike Palkovic, EVP of Operations for DIRECTV and Blake Van Emst, VP of Retail Operations for DISH Network speak about industry challenges and the important role that SBCA plays in supporting the industry.  They encouraged everyone to join.

The focus of the lunch was a discussion of how SBCA could best meet the needs of its members.  The attendees determined that the associations’ traditional role in certifying installers, and developing important member benefits such as group insurance and fleet management services are important benefits that SBCA should continue to provide and expand.  They also offered suggestions on ways to reach out to retailers through existing communications avenues of distributors and manufacturers, as well as, stand-alone SBCA efforts.

As one result of the roundtable, the SBCA has been working hard to develop new benefit programs and services to be officially announced before the annual meetings of DIRECTV and DISH Network in the spring.  Association benefits we plan to offer include group liability insurance, fleet management services and contractor locator services in partnership with OnForce, a national network of technicians in the information and telecommunications fields.

A Leadership Council is being formed to meet in late March to advise SBCA Management and the Board on industry needs and priorities. The Council will support the roll out of new member benefits and new communications and membership development efforts. Also the ground work and initial plans will be started for the next in the Leadership Luncheon tentatively planned for next January.
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State Government Activities

Earlier this month, the SBCA’s Director of Public Policy and Outreach, Lisa V. McCabe testified before the New York State Senate Finance and Assembly Ways and Means Joint Legislative Budget Committee on Taxes in the proposed 2009-2010 Executive Budget.

McCabe asserted that a current proposal could tax satellite TV customers at a higher rate than cable customers by leaving it to the various local governments to decide the tax rate that satellite subscribers will ultimately pay.

“It’s the wrong tax at the wrong time and would unfairly hurt 6.5 million New Yorkers.”

-SBCA’s Director of Public Policy and Outreach, Lisa V. McCabe


With the New Year comes the convening of state legislatures all across the country.  In these challenging times, a rash of proposals to tax satellite services has surfaced throughout the country.  Several of which involve provisions such as the one in New York that discriminate against DBS and in favor of cable.  In addition, a number of bills requiring some sort of licensing regulations have also been introduced.  SBCA is involved in some measure in all of these through monitoring, coordinating lobbying, and direct lobbying on the ground.

Here is a list of states where we are active right now.  

State

Licensing

Tax

Wyoming

Yes

Yes

Massachusetts

Yes

Yes

New York

Yes

No

Minnesota

Yes

No

Georgia

Yes

No

Iowa

Yes

Yes

North Dakota

Yes

No

Colorado

Yes

No

Indiana

Yes

No

Mississippi

*

No

Montana

Yes

No

Oklahoma

Yes

No

* Would place DBS under the definition of public utility

In addition, we are working OTARD issues in a number of jurisdictions including:  Philadelphia, PA, St. Charles, MO, Hazelton, PA, and Shelbyville, KY.

And this has all happened since January!  As you can see, we have a busy legislative season ahead working on your behalf.

Our membership has played no small part in vital grassroots efforts and has partnered with the SBCA to help fight unfair policies. Contact us today to find out how to become a member and get involved in helping the association that is protecting and growing our industry.

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Member Spotlight: Sky Web, Inc.


Since 1997 Sky Web, a New Jersey based satellite systems integration company, has been serving customers all across the U.S., with it’s focus on the NJ/NY Metro Markets.

Our business has evolved from a retailer into a complete solutions provider for its clients.  A sample of some of the core services offered are, Needs Analysis Consulting, Design –Build Services, Project Management and testing and measurement.

As the satellite industry continually evolves we are challenged to maintain a “best of breed” back office where the most innovative training is balanced with the latest test equipment and installation practices in the field to ensure the most cost effective and high value services are provided to our clientele.

A sampling of customers range from small to enterprise sized business. Television Networks and Studios, Stadiums, Universities, Military Bases, Health Care facilities and Houses of Worship.

Employing a management team with backgrounds in telecom, wireless, construction and operations, SkyWeb is well suited to serve its diverse customer base.

The company recently re-launched its website at www.skywebtv.com.

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New Member Benefits

Keep an eye out for announcements regarding many new SBCA member benefits.  SBCA staffs have been working feverishly to develop a new set of benefits that will save you money and help improve your operations.  These include group insurance programs and fleet management services, two of the most requested benefits from our membership during these challenging times.

In addition, we are working on a nationwide partnership with a national technician’s registry of services, to help customers across the country find SCBA certified technicians. "There are thousands of firms involved in the satellite industry, we are looking forward to leveraging this huge network to create cost saving programs for all our members no matter what there size or business type," stated Steve Hill SBCA's Deputy Executive Director.

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SBCA on the Road
Over the next few months SBCA staff will be attending various regional industry meetings as well as DIRECTV’s Dealer Revolution in Dallas and DISH Network’s Retailer Summit in Denver. See you there!


New Members
Listed below are SBCA's newest members that have joined over the past month that we would like to welcome to the Association:

Community Dish
Pahrump, NV

Mobile Dynamics
Tempe, AZ

RC Satellite & Electronics
Laredo, TX

Satellite Solutions LLC
Durant, OK

Stellar Private Cable Systems, Inc.
Akron, OH

TELECEL, Inc.
Gaithersburg, MD

Donn Abbey

Steven E. Suazo


DTV Transition

On June 12, 2009 U.S. over the air television broadcasting will change from an analog to a digital format. As a public service we are providing a number of links to resources that might help you decide which path is right for you to comply with the digital transition. The consumer based satellite industry and SBCA are committed to helping you make the transition as easy as possible. Click here for more details.

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