Don't worry about the WB channel - DirecTV is getting us local channels later this year.
Also if you switch to a HD DirecTV system there is a way to get the local channels (including HD) through the receiver. The WB channel is going to be a HD channel. They have been testing it and they had a couple of programs on it the other night. Plus there is nothing like watching sports in HD - it is very cool.
I agree about HD sports.... BUT.... getting local HD via sat isn't quite as easy. Right now CBS has a natl east and west coast Directv HD feed. I think FOX will shortly (and they will be broadcasting in HD shortly). But those are natl feeds not local. Also, to be able to receive these feeds (legally) you have to either be served by a CBS and/or FOX owned and operated station or not served by any over the air FOX or CBS at all.
IOW, if you can pick up your local FOX or CBS with an antenna (doesn't matter if you HAVE an antenna or not) then you can't get the natl HD feed via Directv (unless FOX or CBS owns the local station). It also doesn't matter if your local station is or is not broadcasting in HD.
....CAVEAT... unless you can get yout local to give you a waiver.
Now, maybe ABC/WB etc will want in on this action as well but the same rules will apply.
I'm not sure when/if HD locals would be on Directv. They use a lot of bandwidth compared to what is there now (and DTV is compressing things mightily anyway).
So even if WB HD natl was on satellite that doesn't get you a Pacers game broadcast on WB 4... And right now WB4 isn't broadcasting HD Pacers games anyway so it is a double whammy against it.
Things change fast these days but that is how it was last time I looked.
The best bet to get Digital locals is a good antenna, a digital rcvr, and an HDTV to view it.