Dear Mr. Wied:
Thank you for contacting me. I understand that you may be losing access to some of your broadcast channels through the DISH Network. I want to explain why that may be happening and provide you with some information to ensure that you do not lose access to network programming.
For the last eight years, EchoStar (who owns DISH Network) has been embroiled in litigation with four of the major broadcast affiliate groups over the transmission of distant network signals. On May 23, 2006, a federal appellate court found that EchoStar has been violating the Satellite Home Viewer Act over many years. What the court essentially found is that EchoStar has been sending distant network signals to some customers without the authority to do so. Because EchoStar engaged in what the court called a "pattern or practice" of illegal behavior across many parts of the country, the law requires the court to issue a nationwide injunction to stop the illegal behavior. December 1st is the date the injunction will become effective.
I am told that the parties to the lawsuit are continuing to work toward finding a settlement that will prevent disruption for innocent viewers. However, in the event a settlement cannot be achieved, I want to make you aware of the other options you have so you can continue to view your favorite broadcast channels. Attached are websites you can visit to obtain more information.
1. Free Over-The-Air Television - this free option may be enhanced with an indoor or outdoor antenna
2. Cable Television - you can find information about the cable television options in your community by going to: www.ncta.com.
3. Satellite Television - there are two satellite companies that offer television service: DirecTV and DISH Network. Information on these options can be found by visiting: www.directv.com or www.dishnetwork.com. While I know you already subscribe to DISH Network, you may be able to receive "local-into-local" signals through DISH since the injunction only applies to distant network signals. You can find out if you are eligible for this by going to:
https://customersupport.dishnetwork.com/customernetqual/prepAddress.do and entering your address.
I understand that you are frustrated that you may lose access to some provided distant network signals, but I encourage you to explore the above options to receive your network broadcast channels.
If you have any additional questions or concerns, please feel free to contact me again.
Ralph M. Hall
Member of Congress
Just that I would share.