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APTS Praises Eshoo Bill

The Association of American Public Television Stations gave a shout out Friday to Rep. Anna Eshoo (D-CA) for reintroducing a bill that would require DISH Network to carry noncommercial stations' multicast channels.

APTS already has a multicast carriage deal with DirecTV. DISH did not want to make the same deal.

Eshoo's bill, the Satellite Consumers' Access to Public Television Digital Programming Act, comes as Congress begins considering the reauthorizing the compulsory licenses that cover satellite's carriage of local and distant-signal TV stations (the Satellite Home Viewer Extension and Reauthorization Act, SHVERA).

In fact, she telegraphed the bill's reintroduction at a House hearing this week, saying she thought it was "unacceptable" that any household was "denied" access to any public digital programming.

"We applaud Congresswoman Eshoo for recognizing that every American deserves access to the diverse, education-rich content broadcast by their local public television stations in the digital age," said APTS President and CEO Larry Sidman in response to the bill.

Eshoo has conceded that the bill is something of a big stick meant to force DISH to follow DirecTV's lead, saying this week at a hearing that the bill would be unnecessary if DISH would only agree to noncom multicast carriage.