The reason why Satellite and Cable have different rules is due to their history. Cable TV started as nothing more than a community antenna (Scranton PA in 1947). In fact Cable TV's abreviation is still CATV. This means that all the rules and laws concerning cable TV are based on what a cable TV company can pick up with an antenna at the system's head end. To this day, cable companies can carry TV stations from any market they are able to pick up with sophisticated reception equipment as long as the channels are "significantly viewed" in their area.
On the other hand it has NEVER BEEN LEGAL for satellite companies to pluck a TV signal off the air and resell it to subscibers without the TV satation AND the programmer's consent. Loopholes and ambiguous language in other existing laws along with extremely low penetration to average home subscribers kept these things in limbo for 3 decades. But finally 1990's it was solidified in court rulings and the SHVA. The SHVA allowed satellite companies to sell TV stations without the station's permission to anyone who could not otherwise get TV reception AND had not been a cable subscriber within the last 90 days. But it DID NOT allow a satellite company to sell a TV station to anyone who could pick up the same network over the air. The funny thing was that this was in effect EVEN if the station the satellite companies were delivering was the same one you could get off the air!
In the SHVA there were exceptions made for national and regional "superstations', but it also put a moratorium on the creation of new superstations. Again, this is taking a TV station off the air WITHOUT the TV station's or the copyright owners' consent and selling it via satellite. There will NEVER be a new superstation like this again.
Just to make sure I am clear, the SHVA is a solidification of existing laws and closing of loopholes and ambiguities. It did not just "pop up".
In December 1999, the SHVIA (the I stands for Improvement) allowed for satellite systems to sell TV stations into their own local markets and nowhere else. The local markets were not pulled out of thin air either. Nielsen, like it or not, is the standard for what TV stations do. The county in CT in question is an extension of NYC and its market. Economically, *MOST* people in that county do business with, work in and travel to NYC market counties more than they do New Haven or Hartford. *Most* people in the county are more likely to watch NYC TV than Hartford. The moment that changes, Nielsen will reassign the TV market in that county. Every summer the map is redrawn for the new season.
If you are in Fairfield Co., you ARE in the NYC TV market. Dish and DirecTV cannot, by law sell you anything other than NYC local channels. To you that is NYC.