B’casters Press for News-Hughes Conditions7/22/2003 10:07 AM Eastern
Broadcasters are pressing regulators to impose conditions to ensure that
DirecTV Inc., in the hands of News Corp. chairman Rupert Murdoch, can't tilt the
competitive balance against Fox affiliates around the country.
In a letter Monday, the National Association of Broadcasters reiterated its
concern that Murdoch's control of DirecTV would pose a threat to Fox's
The NAB stated that News Corp. could use DirecTV to "bypass" Fox affiliates
unless the affiliates agree to terms favorable to News Corp.
"The bypass strategy … would not entirely eliminate Fox local stations, at
least at first -- it would simply weaken them and detract from their ability to
serve local interests," the NAB's letter said.
In earlier comments, News Corp. said if the bypass strategy were plausible,
it would be implementing it today with DirecTV by contract.
In the letter, the NAB called on the FCC to require DirecTV to provide local
TV signals in every market by Jan. 1, 2006.