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DISH Formally Asks to Get Back into Distant-Signal Business

The FCC has received
DISH Network's request to start delivering distant network-affiliated TV
station signals.

As part of STELA, the
legislation reathorizing the blanket copyright license covering that
distant-signal importation, DISH was allowed to re-enter that business subject
to delivering local TV signals into the remaining dozen-and-a-half markets that
did not get them.

According to the FCC,
DISH has affirmed that it has initiated service in all 210 markets per a
voluntary agreement.

DISH had been barred by
a court from the distant signal business after a finding that it was not
accurately identifying what subscribers were not receiving a viewable signal
from a local affiliate, and thus qualitified for receiving a comparable network
affiliate imported from a different market.

The commission did not
immediately give DISH the green light. STELA requires a 30-day comment period
on DISH's request to become a certified distant-signal carrier, but also says
the FCC has 90 days to either grant or deny the request.

In that time, the FCC
says before it grants a waiver of the injunction, it must confirm that DISH is
actually delivering the local signals to at least 90% of the households in each

Comments are due July
20; replies July 30.