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DBS tiring of litigation

Mon, 11/06/2000 - 7:00pm
Karen Kessler-Tanaka

Possibly tired of funneling more money to lawyers than into its businesses, the direct-broadcast satellite industry filed a Federal Court motion Monday in Alexandria, Va. The motion could lead to a quick decision in the industry's legal attack on a law that mandates carriage of all local TV signals in a market.

Under the must-carry law, DBS carriers have to provide all local TV signals in a market if they carry even one, starting Jan. 1, 2002. DirecTV and EchoStar are each currently offering local signals — typically just NBC, CBS, ABC and Fox — in more than 30 markets.

Attorneys for the Satellite Broadcasting & Communications Association filed the motion for summary judgment, hoping that the case can be resolved without a trial. U.S. District Court Judge James Cacheris could issue a ruling on the motion before April.

Meanwhile, the National Association of Broadcasters seems to have nothing better to do than keep the fires burning under this heated argument. The NAB is not a defendant, but it is seeking to intervene in the case over the objections of the SBCA.

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