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Airing out satellite must carry arguments

Broadcasters take on the satellite industry Tuesday, as the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond, Va., hears oral arguments on whether satellite TV companies have to carry all local TV stations in all markets they serve.

The case also will cover an FCC decision that satellite TV companies can carry TV stations a la carte, giving the consumer the ability to pick and choose what local stations to receive. Broadcasters say satellite TV companies must carry all TV stations in any market satellite TV companies choose to serve, which the 1999 Satellite Home Viewer Improvement Act requires.

Satellite TV companies want some relief from that law, saying it technically and economically hampers them.

Broadcasters also are fiercely opposed to giving satellite TV subscribers any choice about what local TV stations they receive, arguing that smaller stations need to be received in all satellite and cable homes in order to maintain their audience levels and bring in advertising dollars.Paige Albiniak