Appeals Court Rejects Dish’s Distant Signal Challenge

EchoStar’s challenge of the Longley-Rice model was again rejected by the court this week.

In a unanimous opinion, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit ruled against EchoStar’s arguments against the method by which the FCC determines what TV households qualify for distant signals. Households unable to receive local broadcast signals over the air are eligible to get distant signals from another station via DBS.

NAB spokesman Dennis Wharton said his organization was “pleased the court unanimously rejected EchoStar’s challenge to FCC methodology for determining households that are eligible to receive distant network TV signals. This opinion affirms the FCC’s hard work and expertise in establishing who is fairly eligible to receive such signals and strengthens broadcasting’s rich tradition of localism.”

According to Multichannel News, EchoStar plans to take the case to the U.S. Supreme Court. More than 1 million Dish subscribers could be affected if EchoStar cannot obtain regulatory relief.