DirecTV and EchoStar, in joint comments recently sent to the Federal Communications Commission, asked the agency to rethink its rules on satellite TV services delivering significantly-viewed stations to customers. Specifically, the company asked the FCC to reconsider what they said is a narrow interpretation of the local service requirement contained in the regulations. They are pushing for an interpretation that will prevent local network affiliate stations from blocking carriage of significantly viewed analog signals. The FCC's current interpretation of the local service requirement "empowers local network affiliates to condition or withhold analog retransmission consent unless the satellite operator agrees not to import significantly viewed signals. As a result, the local network affiliates are in a position to block carriage of significantly viewed analog signals, thereby depriving DBS subscribers of access to desired stations," the companies said in the joint filing. DirecTV said it has encountered that situation involving significantly viewed stations during retransmission consent negotiations with local broadcasters. The commission should adopt rules that permit satellite TV to carry significantly viewed network signals notwithstanding a local network affiliates refusal to grant retransmission consent, the companies said. "Otherwise, as a practical matter, DBS operators are left in the same position they were pre-SHVERA because they will be prevented from importing significantly viewed signals into local markets." Significantly-viewed channels, in which TV stations from a neighboring market can be delivered along with local TV stations to consumers, is contained in the Satellite Home Viewer Extension and Reauthorization Act (SHVERA)."