Judge OKs EchoStar-NPS Deal

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Washington— EchoStar Communications’s deal, that allows a separate company to lease satellite space to provide distant network signals did not violate an injunction banning the No. 2 DBS provider’s Dish Network from providing the same signals, a federal judge ruled on Dec. 21.

The ruling meant that National Programming Service LLC, which is leasing an EchoStar satellite transponder, may continue to provide ABC, CBS, NBC, and Fox signals to eligible customers around the country.

EchoStar, found to have sold distant signals illegally, was forced to cut off 900,000 customers on Dec. 1.

The NPS deal, protested by local stations in federal court, was designed to assist legally eligible EchoStar customers who wanted to continue viewing distant signals without acquiring new equipment.

Distant signals refer to network television stations that are based outside the viewer’s home market.

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