I've never understood the whole threat of dropping local affiliates. I thought cable and sat companies were mandated by the FCC to carry the locals and there was no money exchange taking place to carry the locals?
"Must Carry" actually had a deadline (might be an annual deadline) in which that if any station is carried in a market, then any other station in the same market can claim "must carry" status and the satellite provider must carry that station as well. There are some other basic rules in place such that it must be an actual station, etc. etc.
However, 'must carry' does not imply 'must pay' .. A station that falls under must carry generally isn't going to also be asking for the sat provider to pay and I think the station simply can't have it both ways. Either it's must carry and there are no carriage fees or it's negotiated (not must carry) and there may be carriage fees. Often a local station is gonna say "thanks for carrying our signal" and be done with it, but other stations feel that their content is worth getting a kickback from the sat provider(a legal kickback, in this case).
So in other words, it doesn't work both ways. A sat provider can't claim must-carry against a content provider, but a content-provider can claim must-carry against the sat provider. If the content provider refuses to allow their content to be redistributed by the sat provider, then the sat provider would be in violation of Copyright laws if they didn't pull the signal.