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The Federal Communications Commission spent a good portion of its meeting Thursday on satellite TV issues, including a revision of rules and policies governing DBS service.

In a report and order detailing the new DBS service mandates, the FCC declined to adopt rules that would put ownership limits on the nation's three DBS full-CONUS slots, satellite orbital locations that can serve dish customers coast to coast.

"Because we continue to view DBS as offering a strong competitive alternative to cable systems, we have not found any competitive problems with allowing a DBS operator to operate in more than one full-CONUS orbital position, and indeed allowing such operation may enable DBS operators to better compete with cable systems in the future," the FCC said in its order.

Presently, EchoStar and DirecTV control the full-CONUS slots. The companies continue to push their merger in Washington, D.C., and if they combine operations, the single entity would dominate the slots. The FCC order released Thursday could make it easier for a merged company to keep the coveted orbital locations.

The full-CONUS slots are at 101 degrees, 110 degrees and 119 degrees.

In addition, the FCC didn't include a specific DBS/cable cross-ownership restriction. Part of the reason cited for not adopting a cross ownership rule is that cable system ownership rules are under review in a separate proceeding, and that proceeding could impact any regulation concerning cross-ownership regulations.

From SkyReport (Used with Permission)
 

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The Federal Communications Commission potentially made it easier for EchoStar and DirecTV to merge. :) Thats about the gist of it.
 

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"Because we continue to view DBS as offering a strong competitive alternative to cable systems, we have not found any competitive problems with allowing a DBS operator to operate in more than one full-CONUS orbital position, and indeed allowing such operation may enable DBS operators to better compete with cable systems in the future."


Wow! This bodes well for the pending merger. I am pleased to see that the
FCC recognizes that DBS' competition is with the cables' jurisdictional mon-
opolies, not with each other. Surely, the FCC also recognizes that opposition
to the merger by NRTC, NAB, and the ilk is self-serving. If the FCC would
relax its rules on LiLs and distant nets, I would be a happy DBS camper. :)

The Nickster :smoking:
 
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