That is where one has to consider how the side deal cuts in to the affiliation agreement. The major networks being forced to allow their signals to be carried under the terms of the law isn't the network choosing to reduce the exclusive value of the agreement. Creating a national "Network TV" channel and offering it via cable and satellite is certainly legal - but it would also be a violation of their affiliation contracts that promise in market exclusivity for the content. I would be very surprised if any of the big networks would create such a channel (or willing allow AT&T|DIRECTV to create a channel by rebroadcasting a network station nationwide). Getting all the big networks to agree is insurmountable. The networks spent a lot of time and money trying to get distants shut down completely. The compromise was to allow distants IF all markets were offered their own locals. I don't see the networks making a side deal unless there is a ton of money involved.