NAB Attacks DISH Distant Nets Challenge
The National Association of Broadcasters responded to EchoStar's newest effort at the Supreme Court, saying the satellite TV company's challenge of the ban on distant network signals shows that it's not interested in helping local TV.
"It is inconceivable that EchoStar professes support for local station carriage, while at the same time attempting to undercut the U.S. system of broadcasting," NAB President Eddie Fritts said in a statement. "NAB will vigorously defend the territorial integrity of all free, local television stations, and we fully expect the U.S. Supreme Court to reject the EchoStar appeal."
On Tuesday, EchoStar asked the Supreme Court to overturn a September 2001 ruling by the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals to limit local affiliate networks to only areas surrounding their origination.
Current law provides that consumers can only access local network channels, and prohibits viewers from watching stations originating from other areas of the country. EchoStar said it believes the distant network signals law violates the First Amendment to the Constitution.
The NAB disagreed with EchoStar's case. "With careful consideration, Congress explicitly protected the market integrity of local television stations in all 210 markets when it passed the Satellite Home Viewer Act," Fritts said.
"The concept of localism - which is the foundation of community service in free, over-the-air broadcasting - was further validated when the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit summarily rejected EchoStar's challenge to the law," he said.
Reposted with permission from SkyReport.COM