FCC tells satcasters it’s all for one

Satellite biz continues to fight rule in federal appeals court

WASHINGTON –The Federal Communications Commission on Wednesday said it’s sticking by a regulation that will require direct broadcast satellite operators to offer all local channels, or none.

DirecTV and others have argued that the “carry one, carry all” reg, which goes into effect Jan. 1, poses an unfair hardship. The satellite biz continues to fight the rule in federal appeals court, with oral arguments scheduled to be heard later this month in Richmond, Va.

However, the FCC wouldn’t side with broadcasters in ordering the DBS industry to carry all local programming as a package rather than a la carte.

The reg agency said a certain flexibility is needed to make sure the public interest is served, hence DirecTV and others can offer local stations as separate slices.

However, direct satellite broadcast operators must make all stations available to subscribers if the operator carries even one broadcast signal, the FCC said.

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