FCC Approves DirecTV’s Bird Move


The Federal Communications Commission Friday approved DirecTV Inc.’s request to move its “DirecTV 5” satellite into an orbital slot controlled by Telesat Canada.

Moving the bird to the 72.5 degrees west longitude location will allow DirecTV to expand its local-into-local channel service to an additional 24 markets, bringing its total to 130, covering 92% of TV households in the United States, the direct-broadcast satellite provider said.

Customers in those 24 markets will need second 18-inch dishes to access the local channels, and DirecTV said it will provide and install those dishes free-of-charge for subscribers who commit to one year of “DirecTV Total Choice” programming.

“We appreciate the FCC expediting its approval of this request,” DirecTV CEO Mitchell Stern said in a prepared statement. “By doing so, the twin policy goals of competition and localism will be enhanced in an additional 7 million households.”