—The Big Four affiliates have thrown their weight behind the
broadcast lobby’s request that DirecTV carry local stations in all markets as a
condition of its merger with AT&T. The Fox, CBS, NBC and ABC affiliate
bodies backed the National Association of Broadcasters in a filing with the
Federal Communications Commission.
The affiliates “agree with NAB that
the merged AT&T/DirecTV should be required to adopt local-into-local
television service in all 210 local designated market areas throughout the
United States without further delay,” the filing stated. “Unlike every other
provider of multichannel video programming services in the country—including
Dish Network and AT&T U-verse—DirecTV does not offer any
local television stations in several of the markets in which it
sells video programming services.”
The filing listed 11 markets where DirecTV does not carry local stations:
DMA No.182 Bowling Green, Ky.
DMA No. 185 Grand Junction-Montrose, Colo.
DMA No. 196 Cheyenne-Scottsbluff, Wyo.
DMA No. 197 Casper-Riverton, Wyo.
DMA No. 201 Ottumwa-Kirksville, Mo.
DMA No. 203 Victoria, Texas
DMA No. 205 Helena, Mont.
DMA No. 206 Presque Isle, Maine
DMA No. 208 North Platte, Neb.
DMA No. 209 Alpena, Mich.
DMA No. 210 Glendive, Mont.
The filing pointed out that an imposed condition was “most appropriate” since
DirecTV previously pledged to carry local stations in all 210 designated market
areas by 2008.
“ This has not yet happened, and a
condition imposed by the FCC in this proceeding will fix that broken promise,”
the filing said.