TV Orphans to FCC: Please, Can We Have Some More?

Related: GSN Complaint Heads Back to FCC

Some satellite TV customers and broadcasters are squaring off in Colorado (and the edges of New Mexico) over TV station carriage.

The STELAR law reauthorization that renewed the satellite distant signal license, for the first time said the FCC could grant requests to modify satellite markets to include out-of-market TV stations, just as cable operators are allowed to do in so-called “orphan county” markets where the local TV stations are licensed to another state and subs can’t get their local news and weather and sports teams.

There appears to be a lot of TV station orphans in La Plata, Colo.

Four of the five most active dockets according to the FCC are commenters from La Plata who say they are tired of getting

Albuquerque stations and want access to Colorado broadcasters. Albuquerque stations are pushing back, saying there are other ways to provide access—short of importing Colorado stations into their markets—to compete for eyeballs and ad bucks.

John Eggerton

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.