This feature of STELA 2014 addresses the issue of orphan counties – those located in the DMA of a primary city located in a different state. As pertains to satellite carriage, it allows the FCC to modify a station’s market definition in order to deliver home-state content to the orphans.
“Where these multistate DMAs exist, satellite subscribers located in certain out-of-state counties within a DMA (so-called “orphan counties”) are sometimes unable to receive in-state broadcast television stations,” stated the FCC. “This means that some satellite subscribers may lack access to in-state news, sports, public affairs, political information and emergency information, such as severe weather alerts, school closings, road closures and other breaking news. In addition, some of these subscribers may be located in rural areas which are unable to receive in-state stations by means of over-the-air reception and which may have limited, if any, broadband service.”
The FCC will be able to address this as it pertains to satellite carriage, just as it has been able to in regards to cable carriage.
Satellite platforms have the ability to be exempted if compliance is “not technically and economically feasible.”
The FCC added, “Market modification allows ?the Commission, on request from a broadcaster or cable operator, to add or delete communities from a particular commercial TV broadcast station’s local television market to better reflect market realities.”