The DTV carriage item was pulled from the FCC’s monthly meeting agenda this week because the Commissioners had already approved the measure. Details haven’t yet been published, but we understand that DirecTV and Dish Network have been given until 2013 to have local-to-local HD retransmission of broadcast signals in all 210 DMAs. Importantly for broadcasters, the order apparently states that having local-to-local HD in all markets is in the public interest, which could be significant when Congress takes up renewal of legislation on satellite home viewership. Also, the FCC is going to issue a notice of inquiry to look into satellite capacity for HD retransmission.
There was a bit of good news on that front. DirecTV announced successful placement of a new satellite in orbit which will handle 1,500 local HD channels. Just a few days ago a satellite with the same purpose for Dish failed to achieve its proper orbit.