Dish Formally Asks To Get Back Into Distant-Signal Business

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The FCC has received Dish Network's request to start delivering distant network-affiliated TV station signals.
As part of STELA, the legislation reathorizing the blanket copyright license covering that distant-signal importation, Dish was allowed to re-enter that business subject to delivering local TV signals into the remaining dozen-and-a-half markets that did not get them.
According to the FCC, Dish has affirmed that it has initiated service in all 210 markets per a voluntary agreement.
Dish had been barred by a court from the distant signal business after a finding that it was not accurately identifying what subscribers were not receiving a viewable signal from a local affiliate, and thus qualitified for receiving a comparable network affiliate imported from a different market.
The commission did not immediately give Dish the green light. STELA requires a 30-day comment period on Dish's request to become a certified distant-signal carrier, but also says the FCC has 90 days to either grant or deny the request.
In that time, the FCC says before it grants a waiver of the injunction, it must confirm that Dish is actually delivering the local signals to at least 90% of the households in each market.
Comments are due July 20; replies July 30.

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