DBS Must-Carry Cases Combined7/18/2001 4:19 AM Eastern
A federal appeals court in Richmond, Va., has agreed to consolidate the
direct-broadcast satellite industry's dual attack on federal mandates to carry
local TV signals, the industry said Tuesday.
The DBS industry is fighting both a federal law and Federal Communications
Commission rules that require DBS carriers to carry all local TV stations in a
market if they carry even one.
A U.S. District Court judge in Alexandria, Va., recently upheld the
constitutionality of the 'carry-one, carry-all mandate' contained in the
Satellite Home Viewer Improvement Act of 1999.
After that decision, the DBS industry asked the U.S. Court of Appeals for the
Fourth Circuit to roll into one case the challenges to the law and the rules.
The court agreed to that request July 16.
The carry-one, carry-all mandate takes effect Jan. 1.
'We are very pleased with the Fourth Circuit's decision to combine the
satellite industry's appeal. The court clearly recognizes that it is in the
consumers' best interest to resolve the satellite must-carry issue before the
Jan. 1, 2002, deadline,' said Chuck Hewitt, president of the Satellite
Broadcasting & Communications Association, in a prepared statement