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Guest Message by DevFuse


Supreme Court is scheduled to hear local broadcast-TV-carriage law as applied to DBS

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6 replies to this topic

#1 OFFLINE   John Corn

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Posted 10 June 2002 - 10:40 AM

The Supreme Court is scheduled to decide this coming week whether to hear a case on the constitutionality of a local broadcast-TV-carriage law as applied to the direct-broadcast satellite industry.

Under the law, a DBS carrier is required to carry every requesting local TV station in a market where that carrier has elected to provide any local TV stations.

The Satellite Broadcasting & Communications Association and EchoStar Communications Corp. maintained that the carriage mandate violates the First Amendment because it effectively restricts the number of markets a DBS carrier may serve and promotes the speech of lightly viewed stations in a served market over that of network affiliates in an unserved market.

DirecTV Inc. -- the parent company of which, Hughes Electronics Corp., is hoping to merge with EchoStar -- was an original plaintiff but dropped out of the case in March.

The carriage mandate -- a 1999 provision of the Satellite Home Viewer Improvement Act -- was upheld in December by a panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit just a few weeks before the 'carry one, carry all' mandate was to take effect.

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#2 OFFLINE   woodman



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Posted 11 June 2002 - 09:43 AM

Let's hope that the Court is wise enough to see that this case needs to be heard, and further that the must-carry rule, while valid for the "cable" industry should not be applied to DBS satellite, where it's completely inappropriate.

It was pushed into being by the lobbying efforts of the cableTV industry as an attempt to strike a crippling blow to DBS - the only real competitor they've ever had. This is the epitome of "dirty pool" if I ever heard of it, and yet another example of how our government makes decisions that favor big business over our best interests and rights.

I plan to live forever ..... so far, so good!

The early bird may get the worm ... but the second mouse gets the cheese!

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Posted 11 June 2002 - 12:48 PM

It had nothing to do with cable.

It had everything to do with the NAB.

When the DBS companies first tried to overturn the law, cablers actually sided with them. Time Warner has argued that must-carry is unconstitutional, and gave the DBS companies their support in the matter.

#4 OFFLINE   RichW


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Posted 11 June 2002 - 12:58 PM

Agreed. It can be argued that must-carry is a government "taking" without compensation to the property owner. This applies to cable as well as DBS. In fact, cable had a much stronger case because it does not use resources which are in the public domain (i.e. spectrum). While I would hope for a decision against must-carry, the odds are very much against DBS in this case as the Court has already ruled against cable in a similar case.
No man stands so tall as when he stoops to help a child.

#5 OFFLINE   zuma hans

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Posted 11 June 2002 - 02:59 PM

Anything "can" be argued.

But not argued successfully.

The Supreme Court has rejected this argument over and over. It just rejected the cable industry's must-carry arguments a few months ago.

This is DOA. Anyone with a lawyer and a desire for publicity can appeal all the way to the SCOTUS: BFD.
zuma hans
DISH, C-band, ku-band, XM radio

#6 OFFLINE   lkw



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Posted 17 June 2002 - 10:08 AM

zuma hans, this is a thread that you should be interested in:


key: grey market, fraud

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Posted 21 June 2002 - 12:30 PM


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