EchoStar Communications Corp. said Thursday that it plans to begin offering
local-to-local broadcast channels from Grand Rapids, Mich., beginning
DirecTV Inc. announced Tuesday that it would add Grand Rapids to its list of
local markets in July.
Grand Rapids will bring EchoStar's Dish Network local-to-local count to 37
cities. The company has said it would deliver local broadcast channels from all
210 DMAs in the United States if its plans to merge with DirecTV parent Hughes
Electronics Corp. are approved.
Of the seven Grand Rapids stations Dish plans to deliver, one (WTLJ/channel
54) will require a second satellite antenna, the company said in a press
EchoStar has come under fire in recent months from broadcasters for requiring
second dishes for some local broadcast channels within a given market. The
company said it would install second dishes free-of-charge upon request for
those who take the local-to-local package.