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DBS Learns Eligible Markets for Neighboring Stations

DirecTV and EchoStar officials will be perusing the FCC’s new list of local TV stations eligible to be provided to subscribers in neighboring markets. The FCC made the list—the first of its kind for direct broadcast satellite—available on Monday.

Typically, DBS subscribers are eligible only to receive local stations directly in their markets. However, a law passed last year allows carriage of stations into nearby markets where their free-over-the-air audience is large enough to consider them “significantly viewed.”

For example, viewers in Columbia, Md., are considered part of the Baltimore market, but are also heavy viewers of stations in the Washington market. Now, DBS providers will be able to offer Washington stations to their Columbia subscribers. In addition, the FCC proposed subscriber eligibility and satellite carrier responsibilities related to carriage of significantly viewed channels.