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FCC Says DISH Can Deliver Distants

The FCC has certified DISH Network to deliver distant network-affilated out-of-market TV station signals to qualified subs.

DISH subs
have had to get those signals from a third party ever since a court
enjoined DISH from delivering them after it determined DISH 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 has been
economically infeasible to deliver.

"Based on
our review of the record," said the Commission, "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.

It has asked the court for a permanent waiver of the injunction as well.

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