Big Four to FCC: Impose Local-Into-Local on DirecTV-AT&T Merger

WASHINGTON—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.