Dish Formally Asks To Get Back Into Distant-Signal Business


Washington -- The Federal Communications Commission has
received Dish Network's request to start delivering distant network-affiliated
TV station signals.

As part of TheSatellite Television Extension and Localism Act
of 2010 (STELA)
, the legislation reauthorizing 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 the satellite-TV provider was found not to be accurately identifying which
subscribers were not receiving a viewable signal from a local network-affiliated
station, and thus were qualified to receive 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.