FCC Grants Cablevision DBS Extension


The federal government Tuesday gave Cablevision Systems Corp. until Aug. 31
to launch its Rainbow 1 direct-broadcast satellite and until no later than Dec.
29 to launch service.

Cablevision, the sixth-largest cable company, is planning to enter the DBS
market offering both national and local programming in dozens of markets. The
business plan includes high-definition programming.

Due to technical problems with the Lockheed Martin Corp. rocket, Cablevision
asked the Federal Communications Commission to move the launch deadline from
March 29 to May 29. In a subsequent request, the MSO sought an extension to Aug.

The FCC granted the Aug. 31 extension in ruling by Thomas S. Tycz, chief of
the International Bureau's satellite division.

The ruling also permitted Cablevision to use its satellite to transmit 22
spot beams, but the commission said international approvals had to be obtained
to resolve potential spectrum-interference problems with the spot-beam