DISH Takes Aim at NAB's Locals Proposal

DISH Network took aim at the National Association of Broadcasters and its push to force DBS services to carry locals for all 210 DMAs, saying regulators should "not be duped by NAB's attempt to stonewall the process by engaging in a fishing expedition."

At issue is a proposal for DBS services to carry all local HD signals for markets they choose to offer local HD broadcast service. Both DISH Network and DIRECTV have offered to carry local HD signals for the markets they serve on a phased-in basis, hoping to cover any markets they serve with high-def stations within a four-year time period.

That apparently is not good enough for the broadcast lobby, which has asked the Federal Communications Commission to require DBS services to carry all locals from the nation's market areas.

Said DISH in response, "NAB can run its own calculation - just as Spanish-language programmers, consumer groups, rural telcos and others have done - to determine that EchoStar and DIRECTV cannot support an immediate HD must-carry mandate."

The company added, "What also is a matter of public record, however, is that the vast majority of television stations NAB claims to represent are in no position to broadcast in HD come February 2009. The 30 million U.S. households relying on DBS should not suffer just because NAB has not done its homework."