The Supreme Court refused Monday to take a case in which EchoStar
Communications Corp. argued for the right to distribute local TV stations to
satellite subscribers across the country.
A court spokeswoman said the high court reviewed EchoStar's appeal and denied
it without comment.
Current law restricts the ability of home dish owners to receive network
programming from TV stations located in distant markets. If dish owners
generally can get the programming with off-air antennas, they are not allowed to
receive distant networks via satellite.
EchoStar hired renowned Harvard Law School professor Laurence H. Tribe to
argue that the restriction on the receipt of distant-network signals via
satellite violated the First Amendment because the law favored the speech of
local TV stations over the speech of distant-network signals.
EchoStar chairman and CEO Charlie Ergen said in a speech in Washington, D.C.,
earlier in the month that consumers should be able to buy any TV signal they
want just like they can subscribe to out-of-town newspapers.