If I recall correctly all of the NBC Owned stations are hubbed - where all their non news programming is played out similar to ITV but each station controls their schedules. I believe the hub is the location where the tickers for Today are inserted. The hub I believe also has the ability to put up a simple crawl across the screen. I'm not sure how things like school closings are handled - where the graphics are far more complex than a simple text crawl.
Ah, interesting. One little hotel we stayed in (British term is Bed and Breakfast !) had an HD Direct TV satellite box in the room. I noticed that the three local affiliates were mapped on the EPG
to their legacy channel numbers, 2, 5 and 7. I assume Direct TV have geographically defined EPG mapping based on Zip Code registration (the same as Sky here ) ?
DirecTV nor Dish is zip code based like it is in the UK (so a person who lived in Washington DC couldn't change their zip code to watch a Los Angeles station). I believe it's linked to your billing address and the receiver checks it ever so often. DirecTV and Dish use spot beams narrowing the area of a certain station. Unfortunately not all local stations are carried due to satellite capacity or if they are carried they may not be in HD. If your station is not available on satellite they do include an OTA antenna input and if you can't receive it OTA you may get a distant channel. Also the satellite companies do not carry the local sub channels such as MeTV or Decades.
If your curious you can find out what channels are carried on which DirecTV satellite and transponder by viewing this thread over at DBS Talk
which will link you to this comprehensive Excel spreadsheet
Unfortunately I'm not that familiar with Dish Network's operations.
FYI - We also use Bed and Breakfast for small hotels that are essentially homes opened up.