DBS Must-Carry Complaints Keep Rolling


Local TV stations continue to file complaints at the Federal Communications
Commission protesting carriage rejections by direct-broadcast satellite carriers
DirecTV Inc. and EchoStar Communications Corp.

On Jan. 1, the DBS carriers are required to carry all requesting local TV
stations in markets where they provide any local TV signals. EchoStar serves
about 35 local markets and DirecTV about 40.

Over the past few months, TV stations not currently carried in those markets
have sent letters to DirecTV and EchoStar demanding carriage. Evidently, dozens
of stations are displeased with the responses.

As of Oct. 15, the FCC had received 34 complaints from TV stations
complaining that they were denied carriage -- 26 by EchoStar and eight by

The DBS carriers are fighting the must-carry mandate in the U.S. Court of
Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, where a ruling is pending.