NRTC Pushes Local TV Issues


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Sep 8, 2003
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NRTC Pushes Local TV Issues

The National Rural Telecommunications Cooperative told the Federal Communications Commission it's happy with the commitment News Corp. and DirecTV made concerning delivery of local TV to all 210 DMAs if the media giant's takeover of the satellite TV service wins regulatory approval.

The all-DMAs/locals promise - which could happen as early as 2006 and no later than 2008 if the News Corp./DirecTV deal wins approval - is a positive step that warrants further review, NRTC told the FCC last week.

Still, "The difference between 2006 and 2008 remains significant. Rural Americans already have waited too long to receive access to local signals that consumers in more populated areas take for granted," the cooperative told the FCC in reply comments on cable/satellite competition.

The NRTC echoed its earlier call for satellite TV to deliver locals to all corners of the nation. "To promote competition to cable and to bring local service to areas that otherwise would not receive it, nationwide DBS carriers should provide local service to all 210 DMAs as soon as possible," the cooperative said. "NRTC stands ready to work with DirecTV and others toward this goal."
I believe Dish Network plans on delivering all 210 DMA's as well (especially if DirecTv is going to be doing this). Dish Network is going to have two times more satellite capacity than DirecTv after they have 105 and 121 ready so Dish Network should be capable to deliver these locals even if it requires another satellite launch in the future (in which it shouldnt). I thought I heard that Dish Network planned on getting an additional 50 markets during 2004 which would take them up to 150 of the 210 DMA's. At that point they would be real close to clinching the rest of the DMA's.

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