Houston Station Gains DirecTV Carriage


DirecTV Inc. reached a carriage deal Wednesday with a Houston TV station that
had forfeited its must-carry rights for four years because it missed a mailing
deadline by one day.

KNWS -- the broadcast home of Major League Baseball's Houston Astros and the
National Basketball Association's Houston Rockets -- launched on DirecTV's
local-station package in the Texas city Wednesday, but carriage terms were not

TV stations in the Houston market that sought mandatory carriage effective
Jan. 1, 2002, had to postmark their letters to DirecTV and EchoStar
Communications Corp. no later than July 1, 2001. Because that date was a Sunday,
KNWS thought it had an additional day and mailed its election letter to DirecTV
July 2.

The FCC backed DirecTV for refusing carriage when KNWS owner Johnson
Broadcasting Inc. filed a complaint with the agency.

The commission's ruling would have kept KNWS off DirecTV's service until 2006
if a private carriage agreement had not been reached.