Satellite Waiver Information

This page provides information about requesting a waiver from WAGM TV, in order to receive CBS television network programming from a distant network affiliate via a satellite dish as well as the availability of WAGM’s local signal via satellite dish.
It is illegal for satellite companies to sell distant network services to households that can receive local broadcasters’ free over-the-air signal from a rooftop antenna. Most locations in WAGM’s viewing area have little difficulty receiving our local over-the-air signal and are not eligible to receive a distant signal. Those subscribers who cannot receive an over- the-air signal from a rooftop antenna may ask their satellite service provider to request a waiver on their behalf allowing them, if granted, to receive a distant network signal via their satellite dish.
In November of 1999, Congress passed revised legislation governing the transmission of both local and distant network broadcast stations over satellite systems. This new legislation is called the Satellite Home Viewer Extension and Reauthorization Act (“SHVERA”).
Among other things, SHVERA changed the waiver request process. Subscribers should now request a waiver by communicating directly with their satellite company. The satellite company will forward requests they feel have merit to the local affiliates for consideration. Local stations are required to respond to requests they receive from satellite companies within 30 days. In many cases, the satellite companies can forward requests electronically to local affiliates, which speeds up processing.
WAGM will only consider requests received directly from satellite companies. To contact your satellite company concerning a waiver requests, use the contact information at the end of this page.
Many affiliates, including WAGM, and the satellite companies have access to sophisticated computer modeling software, which is utilized when considering waiver requests. It takes into account the coverage of our television signal, a viewer’s location, and interference factors such as terrain. The computer model tells us, with a fairly high degree of accuracy, what signal strength a particular location should be receiving.
By law waivers must be granted if a signal measured with a rooftop antenna located thirty (30) feet above mean terrain is less than -15 db. This constitutes the station’s Grade B limit. A location receiving a signal level of -15 or above will not be granted a waiver. We have dealt with a large number of viewers who have never tried a roof top antenna at their location who very are pleasantly surprised at the quality of picture received with one. Best of all, the WAGM signals are free!
Denied Waiver Requests
If your satellite provider informed you that your waiver request was denied it’s likely because the information available to us indicates that your location receives a Grade B or better signal and you should have little difficulty receiving our signal from a properly installed roof top antenna.
Receiving WAGM’s Signal via Antenna
While WAGM’s main office and studios are located in Presque Isle, our transmission tower is centrally located on Mars Hill Mountain. For optimum off-air reception of WAGM be sure that your antenna is in good repair. Over time the ability of an antenna or satellite dish to receive a decent signal may be diminished due to prolonged exposure to the elements. If your signal is less than ideal, be sure to inspect your antenna for damage (IE: rust, broken elements). Other tips include making sure your antenna is securely mounted and oriented toward Mars Hill, that you’re using properly shielded coaxial cable and that ALL cable connections are tight to minimize “ghosting”.
Most newer satellite dish receivers seamlessly integrate both satellite signals and local over-the-air signals from a roof top antenna. Viewers can switch back and forth between satellite and broadcast by simply pressing a button on their remote control.
Additional Information
Further information regarding the legislation that governs waiver requests and the reception of distant network stations is available on the FCC’s web site. Information about using an antenna to receive local affiliate channels, as well as, complete program listings for analog and digital broadcast television, satellite television, and cable television can be found on-line at
We hope this information is helpful. We look forward to serving you in the future and to providing both network and local programming to you and the entire viewing area.

Contact Information

Dish Network
Dish Network is no longer allowed to deliver distant network signals. This is the result of a prolonged court battle where Dish Network was found to have repeatedly granted illegal distant signals. No further information is available at this time.

DirecTV Customer Service
P.O. BOX 92600
Los Angeles, CA 90009
1-800-DIRECTV (1-800-347-3288)

Click here for a copy of the FCC SHVERA Provisions in PDF format (368K, 71 pages)

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