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This is an unofficial announcement of Commission action. Release of the full text of a Commission order constitutes official action. See MCI v. FCC. 515 F 2d 385 (D.C. Circ 1974).
COMMISSION ACTS TO INCREASE COMPETITION TO CABLE TV BY APPROVING ADDITIONAL DBS CAPACITY FOR ECHOSTAR
The Commission today cleared the way for Direct Broadcast Satellite (DBS) to
compete more effectively with cable television providers by approving the transfer of
authorizations to provide DBS programming from MCI Telecommunications Corporation
(MCI) to EchoStar North America Corp. (Echostar).|
Despite increases in the number of subscribers to DBS systems, cable TV systems remain the dominant supplier in what is called the multichannel video program distribution (MVPD) market, and this transaction will allow EchoStar to become a stronger competitor. As a result, consumers should benefit from the increased competition that should lead to increased program offerings and options and/or lower prices in the marketplace for multichannel video programming.
Specifically, the FCC approved the transfer of an authorization to construct, launch and operate a high-powered direct broadcast satellite (DBS) service on 28 channels at 110 degrees W.L. The Commission found that acquisition of this additional satellite capacity by EchoStar is in the public interest because it enables EchoStar to increase substantially its number of program offerings, and to compete more effectively with cable in the multichannel video program distribution (MVPD) market.
EchoStar already provides DBS service from its satellites located at 148 degrees W.L., 119 degrees W.L. and 61.5 degrees W.L. As a result of this new transaction, EchoStar will now be able to operate DBS satellites from two orbital locations (119 degrees W.L. and 110 degrees W.L.) that are capable of transmitting DBS signals to all portions of the continental United States.
Action by the Commission May 19, 1999, by Order and Authorization (FCC 99- 109). Chairman Kennard, Commissioners Ness, Furchtgott-Roth, Powell and Tristani, with Commissioner Ness issuing a separate statement.
International Bureau contacts: Linda Haller at (202) 418-1408 and Doug Webbink at (202) 418-1494.