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DISH: Local Into Local Within Two Years

DISH has agreed to a two-year time frame for delivering local TV stations to all 210 Nielsen markets.

In a letter cited in a satellite hearing markup Thursday by local-into-local proponent Rep. Bart Stupak (D-Mich.), DISH agreed Wednesday night to a two-year time frame, from passage of a satellite reauthorization bill, to deliver local TV station signals to the 28 remaining unserved markets.

That is part of a deal struck between DISH and broadcasters. In exchange for being allowed to deliver distant network TV station signals to short markets (those lacking one or more network affiliate), which it is currently barred from doing per court order, DISH had agreed to deliver local signals to all 210 markets.

But Stupak wanted a date certain. With letter in hand, he withdrew an amendment that would have required any satellite operator who delivered local stations in any market to deliver them in all markets, saying that the DISH promise better be fulfilled.