DISH Network, the satellite-to-home pay-TV provider, launched local broadcast channels in 29 new markets last week — becoming the first operator to offer local channels to consumers in every market nationwide.
Dish’s action came only moments after President Obama signed the Satellite Television Extension and Localism Act of 2010 (STELA) into law.
“While our nearest competitor offers local channels in only 75 percent of local markets, DISH Network is committed to offering consumers in all markets — particularly those living in smaller and rural communities — a full complement of satellite TV services,” said Charlie Ergen, DISH’s CEO and founder.
On June 3, DISH launched local channels in Alpena, MI; Biloxi, MS; Binghamton, NY; Bluefield, WV; Bowling Green, KY.; Columbus, GA.; Elmira, NY; Eureka, CA; Glendive, MT; Greenwood, MS; Harrisonburg, VA; Hattiesburg, MS; Jackson, TN; Jonesboro, AR; Lafayette, IN; Lake Charles, LA; Mankato, MN; North Platte, NE; Ottumwa, IA; Parkersburg, WV; Presque Isle, ME; Salisbury, MD; Springfield, MA; St. Joseph, MO; Utica, NY; Victoria, TX; Watertown, NY; Wheeling, WV; and Zanesville, OH.
The NAB applauded DISH for providing the local broadcast channels in all markets. “By offering each of their customers access to local TV stations, DISH Network enhances localism and preserves the enduring values of broadcast television,” said Dennis Wharton, NAB spokesman.
As of March, DISH had more than 14.3 million satellite TV customers throughout the United States. DIRECTV is its only U.S. satellite-to-home competitor.