The Satellite Broadcasting and Communications Association joined EchoStar in filing a petition asking the Supreme Court to review an appeals court decision upholding satellite must-carry rules.
The must-carry rules are unconstitutional and anti-consumer, SBCA President Andy Wright said. "(Must-carry) clearly violates the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution because it favors certain local broadcasters over others and it penalizes DBS providers for carrying popular stations by forcing them to carry every station without monetary compensation," he said in a statement.
"As we have said from the outset, consumers in the marketplace should decide what programming satellite companies carry, not a federal mandate. We remain firmly confident that we will ultimately win this case on the merits of our constitutional arguments," Wright said.
DirecTV, which has participated in satellite's must-carry legal challenges in the past, reportedly has decided not to join the Supreme Court fight.
When the Supreme Court ruled against cable's challenge of must-carry it did so because it concluded cable was a "bottleneck monopoly wielding market power and had anti-competitive reasons for refusing to carry popular broadcast stations as a result of its vertical integration with programmers and its competition with local broadcasters for local advertising dollars," Wright said.
"Neither of those points, which were specifically cited in the Supreme Court ruling, is applicable to the DBS operators," Wright said.
(Used with permission)