From our friends at SkyReport.com
Two congressmen wrote the Federal Communications Commission on News Corp.'s proposed takeover of a controlling stake in Hughes and DirecTV, saying the companies' pledge to put DirecTV-delivered local TV in all markets if their deal wins regulatory approval should be accelerated beyond the promised dates.
As part of their transaction, News Corp. and DirecTV said the satellite TV service will aim to deliver local stations to all 210 of the nation's DMAs by 2006, or no later than 2008. Reps. Bob Goodlatte and Rick Boucher, both from Virginia, said in a letter sent to FCC Chairman Michael Powell the local TV promise should be a near-term requirement.
"While we applaud News Corporation's new pledge to serve even more markets, we do not think our constituents should have to wait that long for services that have been available to parts of the country since 1999," the lawmakers said. "All consumers should have comparable access to the local news, weather and public interest programming that consumers in large cities already enjoy."
Goodlatte and Boucher said a near-term timeline for offering satellite-delivered local TV to all 210 DMAs should be part of the transaction's approval.