NAB Likes DBS Local Carriage Idea

The National Association of Broadcasters also weighed in on the dual-carriage matter targeting satellite TV last week.

The group told the Federal Communications Commission that the agency should adopt rules that would require satellite TV services to carry the signals of all local broadcast stations in high-def and standard-definition if they carry the signals of any local station in the market in both HD and SD. Also, the NAB said in comments on the issue that satellite "viewability" rules should also be adopted to ensure "that all carry-one, carry-all stations will be viewable in the analog sets of satellite subscribers."

The FCC is asking for comments as to whether satellite TV companies should be required to carry the signals of all local broadcast stations in HD and standard definition if they carry the signals of any local station in the same market in both HD and SD.

NAB said the purpose of the "carry one, carry all" principle for DBS is "to ensure the continued availability of a wide variety of different over-the-air channels, and to prevent the local-to-local compulsory license from interfering with existing vigorous competition among all of the broadcast stations in each local market.

"This careful balance would be upset if satellite subscribers without HD capable set-top boxes are unable to watch the programming of some stations in a market because the carrier discriminates in its carriage of digital signals," the association said in its comments.

Last week, DIRECTV and DISH Network filed comments that outlined their opposition to proposed rules that would require carriage of broadcast stations in both HD and standard-definition in markets served with locals.