Will my satellite provider carry the new local multicast channels?

This is archived content from Digital TV Facts. For up-to-date information on the digital TV transition, see the federal government’s site, www.DTV2009.gov.

Direct-broadcast satellite (DBS) services like Dish Network and DirecTV will not be required to provide local digital-TV multicast channels, except in Alaska and Hawaii.

In those two states, carriage of local broadcast digital TV stations must begin by June 8, 2007; this will include both HDTV and multicast programming.

The Alaska and Hawaii “multicast must-carry” requirement was issued by the FCC as part of its implementation of the Satellite Home Viewer Extension and Reauthorization Act (SHVERA) of 2004. The order was apparently intended to provide greater access to local TV stations for those states’ viewers—many of whom live in remote areas.

No plans have been announced to extend the multicast carriage requirement to other states.

At its option, your satellite company could hammer out carriage agreements with broadcasters to provide multicast channels.

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