Skip to main content

FCC: Dish Network Can Deliver Distant Signals

The Federal Communicagtoins Commission has certified Dish Network to deliver distant network-affilated out-of-market TV station signals to qualified subscribers.

Dish customers have had to get those signals from a third party ever since a court enjoined the No. 2 DBS provider from delivering them after it determined the distributor had not been accurately identifying who did and did not qualify.

But the Satellite Television Extension and Localism Act (STELA) included a provision that any satellite carrier delivering local station signals to all 210 markets could be deemed a qualified carrier. In essence it was a Dish-tailored provision to get local TV station signals to the remaining two-and-a-half-dozen markets where it have been economically infeasible to deliver.

"Based on our review of the record," said the FCC, "we find that Dish is providing a 'good quality satellite signal'to at least 90% of the households in each of the 29 new DMAs," which was part of the STELA requirement.
Dish got a temporary waiver from the court to fill-in service in markets that did not have a full complement of affiliates and, gaining that, has begun serving all those markets.

The DBS provider has asked the court for a permanent waiver of the injunction as well.

"Dish Network is proud to be the only pay-TV provider to offer local-into-local service in all 210 local markets in the country," said the company in a statement, "and we look forward to receiving our distant signal license back from the court so that we can offer a full complement of the big four networks to our customers in every local market."

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.