Pegasus Communications, an independent DirecTv distributor and owner of 10 broadcast television stations around the country, said it has reached an agreement with Decisionmark to use its computer-based antenna mapping systems to ensure customer compliance with the Satellite Home Viewer Act.
Under the deal, Pegasus -- which serves more than 600,000 customers in 36 states -- will use web-based systems administered by Cedar Rapids, Iowa- based Decisionmark to help potential DirecTv customers determine at the point of sale if they are eligible to receive broadcast programming via satellite.
Decisionmark is also developing a system for Pegasus that will enable a dealer to immediately send a request for a waiver to affected local broadcasters on the customer's behalf.
Pegasus said it currently has a retail network of over 2,400 dealers, who will all have access to the Decisionmark qualification tools, even if they don't own a PC, by phoning a Pegasus national call center.
The Decisionmark solution uses a nationwide database of broadcast signal technical data that enables an almost immediate analysis of most American TV viewers' ability to receive over-the-air signals. The comprehensive solution allows Pegasus dealers to use Decisionmark Antenna Selector Technology to recommend an off-air reception solution for those customers likely to receive local network programming via an antenna.
For those customers who do not qualify for network programming via satellite, Pegasus dealers will also have access to the company's antenna selector tool, which will recommend the best antenna solution for a customer's area. The program selects antennas from a database of products from manufacturers that have partnered with Decisionmark.
Despite the arrangement, Pegasus chairman Michael Pagon said his company will continue to encourage Congress to work out new SHVA regulations to change the current "archaic" system. Inconsistencies in the rules have led to a large number of satellite subscriber disconnects this year.