DBS Balk at Retransmitting All Broadcast HD

DBS firms EchoStar and DirecTV are fighting broadcaster demands that satellite operators retransmit the exact number of daily hours of HD signals for both local and "significantly viewed" stations. The DBS industry also has alerted the FCC that it will fight the rule that would forbid it from retransmitting significantly viewed signals in a format "more favorable" than the signals of local stations.
The issue again raises the question of how much broadcast programming that originates in HD will eventually find its way into the home intact--without some kind of format alteration and/or degradation due to compression rates and other factors. (The issue is even more significant with cable, however, given the fact that it currently serves more than four times as many subs as DBS).

DBS operators think it's unfair to expect satellite service providers to track local station formats in every daypart and then be required to calibrate the format in which it "must carry" a significantly viewed station. Both DBS companies said if they eventually will be required to retransmit significantly viewed digital signals (which appears likely)--a much more reasonable approach, in their view, must be sanctioned by the FCC.