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The National Rural Telecommunications Cooperative asked the Federal Communications Commission to dismiss an application from EchoStar and Hughes Electronics, parent of DirecTV, to launch and operate a spot-beam satellite that would provide additional local TV service from the 110-degree orbital location.

The two DBS companies, which want to merge, asked the FCC to review its application for the proposed satellite, called New EchoStar 1, as part of its overall review of the proposed DBS combination. Comments on the proposal were due at the FCC at the close of business Monday.

In its comments, the NRTC said the New EchoStar 1 application "does not offer benefits specific to the proposed merger, nor does it redress the harms that would arise from the resulting monopoly." The NRTC has opposed the DBS merger, concerned that the combined company would dominate pay-TV in rural areas.

EchoStar and DirecTV have said the new satellite would support a merged company's efforts to deliver local TV to all television markets in the United States. In response, the NRTC said local TV service to all markets can be achieved without the proposed merger.

The cooperative added that the New EchoStar 1 application "is a transparent ploy to garner political and public support for a merger that is - on all accounts - illegal under the antitrust laws and contrary to the public interest under the Communications Act."

As of press time, no other comments were available concerning the matter at the FCC.

From SkyReport (Used with Permission)
 

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Mentor
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Can anyone present to me the specifics of the NRTC opposition to the merger in particular and (to me at least) an apparent dislike for DBS in general? Is the NRTC involved or have a vested interest in the delivery of programming via c-band to their rural constituents? Are they losing ground to DBS?
 

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Godfather
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The NRTC has a vested interest in the status quo. They provided some funding to DirecTV to get started. Their regional affiliates are the only authorized resellers of DirecTV service in their territories. If the merger happens their cash cow could be killed.
 

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In other words, the NRTC doesn't wan't a monopoly that doesn't include them.
 
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