A little noticed provision of the recently passed STELA satellite bill allows a 60 day window for Dish to reach a private agreement on carrying noncommercial stations in HD. Dish has been negotiating with the stations' parent body APTS for years, and is the only major carrier of any sort without an agreement.
As of this writing, the first 30 days has elapsed since the bill took effect. If no agreement is reached on or about July 26, the STELA provisions will take effect, accelerating the previous FCC mandated schedule.
Dish will be required to provide noncom HD locals in 50% of its markets by December 31, 2010, and the remaining 50% by December 31, 2011.
APTS issued this statement on May 28, the day after the president signed the bill. : "APTS has worked for several years to try to reach a private carriage negotiation with DISH Network, but unfortunately we have been unable to arrive at an agreement to date. While we will continue to try to negotiate with DISH, this legislation provides critical assurances that the American public will have access to the highest quality local public television services in the event that no such agreement can be reached."
Following enactment of STELA, Dish issued a glowing press release, praising other unrelated provisions of the bill, but didn't mention PBS HD at all.
Edited by HarveyLA, 02 July 2010 - 03:39 AM.