NAB says satellite arguments don’t hold water


Noting that both DirecTV and Dish Network have repeatedly used capacity arguments in the pass to try to get out of carrying all broadcast stations in local-to-local service, the NAB said in its latest reply comments on FCC rules for carriage of DTV signals that the satellite companies should not be believed. The NAB notes that when the two companies sought unsuccessfully to merge, they told the FCC that without a merger they would never be able to provide local-to-local to more than 70 markets. Yet today, Dish has local-to-local in 174 DMAs and DirecTV in 150. So, the NAB charges that Dish and DirecTV are being disingenuous when they claim that capacity restraints won’t permit them to carry both the High-Definition and Standard-Definition signals of all local TV stations. NAB says that’s not the case, and demands third party verification of the claim of lack of satellite capacity. But even if the claim is proven to be true, NAB wonders why the satellite companies don’t upgrade all of their subscriber boxes to handle HD, rather than deprive their customers of some of the most watched TV channels.