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                         Before the
              Federal Communications Commission
                   Washington, D.C. 20554

In the Matter of                  )   File No. EB-03-SE-271
                                 )   NAL/Acct. No. 200432100011
DIRECTV, Inc.                     )   FRN # 0004365367


Adopted:  June 14, 2004                                           
Released: June 18, 2004

By the Commission:


     1.        In  this  Notice  of Apparent  Liability  for 
Forfeiture (``NAL''),  we find DIRECTV,  Inc. (``DIRECTV'')1 
apparently  liable for  forfeiture in  the amount  of eighty 
seven   thousand  five   hundred   dollars  ($87,500),   the 
applicable   statutory   maximum,    against   DIRECTV   for 
unauthorized  repositioning  of   the  DIRECTV  3  satellite 
(``DIRECTV 3'' or ``satellite'') from  the orbit at which it 
is  authorized,   and  maintenance  of  that   satellite  at 
unauthorized locations, in willful and repeated violation of 
Section 25.117(a) of the Commission's Rules (``Rules'').2


     2.        DIRECTV  is the  licensee  of  the DIRECTV  3 
Direct Broadcast Satellite  (``DBS'') service satellite.  On 
September  3,  2003,  DIRECTV  requested  special  temporary 
authority  (``STA  request'')  to  relocate  the  DIRECTV  3 
satellite  from   a  super-synchronous  storage   orbit  308 
kilometers  above the  geostationary orbit,  to a  Canadian-
assigned  Broadcast  Satellite   Service  (``BSS'')  orbital 
position at 82 west longitude (``W.L.'') and to conduct the 
telemetry, tracking and command  (``TT&C'') functions of the 
satellite for 60  days once DIRECTV 3  was relocated.3  That 
orbital   location  is   allotted   to   Canada  under   the 
International  Telecommunication Union's  plans for  BSS and 
associated feeder  links in the 12.2-12.7  GHz and 17.3-17.8 
GHz  bands,  respectively.   The  STA  request  to  relocate 
DIRECTV 3 was  filed to effect an  agreement between DIRECTV 
and Telesat Canada.4

     3.        In  the STA  request, DIRECTV  explained that 
(1)   during  relocation   of   the   satellite  back   into 
geostationary satellite orbit DIRECTV  would not operate the 
BSS  communications payload  on the  satellite; (2)  Telesat 
would operate the satellite  at 82 W.L. under authorization 
from  Industry  Canada;  and  (3)  once  the  satellite  was 
relocated, it  would be used  exclusively by Telesat  or its 
customers   to   facilitate    service   to   Canadian   BSS 
subscribers.5   The STA  request was  filed on  September 3, 
2003.   The  request  indicated   that  the  ``window''  for 
communicating  with the  satellite would  close on  or about 
September 25, 2003.6

     4.        On  September  4,   2003,  DIRECTV  personnel 
caused commands to be communicated to reposition the DIRECTV 
3  satellite  via a  series  of  maneuvers that  would  have 
eventually   had  the   satellite  on-station   and  finally 
positioned at 82  W.L. on or about October  15, 2003.7  The 
satellite was  eventually relocated to  an orbit at  or very 
near  the geostationary  satellite orbital  arc, and  in the 
immediate vicinity  of the 82 W.L.  orbital position sought 
under  the STA  request.  On  or about  September 29,  2003, 
counsel for  DIRECTV communicated  with Commission  staff to 
note the issuance of  a Canadian authorization, on September 
26,  2003,  for operation  of  DIRECTV  3  at the  82  W.L. 
location, and to seek approval  for the STA.  In response to 
a  question  from  staff  concerning whether  it  was  still 
possible to maneuver DIRECTV 3  as requested, given that the 
``window'' for  communications had  now passed,  counsel for 
DIRECTV indicated that  the drift of the  satellite had been 
altered.  Staff then inquired as  to whether that action had 
been authorized. Subsequently, during  the week of September 
29, 2003,  DIRECTV ceased  communicating with the  DIRECTV 3 
satellite,  and arranged  a meeting  with the  International 
Bureau (``IB'')  to describe the sequence  of events leading 
to the relocation of the satellite.8 This meeting took place 
on October 2, 2003.9  On  October 3, 2003, DIRECTV requested 
an  STA to  ``execute  an additional  maneuver  to stop  the 
westward movement of  the satellite to mitigate  any risk of 
collision with other  operational satellites.''10  IB orally 
granted this limited STA request on October 3, 2003.11  

     5.        In  a letter  to  IB dated  October 9,  2003, 
DIRECTV  acknowledged that  its  movement of  the DIRECTV  3 
satellite on  September 4, 2003,  was not authorized  by the 
Commission and  indeed was the  very purpose of  the pending 
STA.12    DIRECTV  explained   that  an   initial  ambiguous 
communication   from  a   DIRECTV  Senior   Vice  President, 
Communications Systems, to  a subordinate, though ``intended 
to begin planning the process of relocating the satellite,'' 
resulted in  a relocation  ``prior to the  grant of  the STA 
request.''13  DIRECTV also stated that on or about September 
12, 2003, when the Senior Vice President became aware of the 
movement of  DIRECTV 3,  ``he erred  and mistakenly  did not 
attribute  significance to  the  event  since the  satellite 
remained in a storage  orbit with the communications payload 
turned off,'' thus  judging that DIRECTV 3 would  not pose a 
risk to  other satellites.14  DIRECTV further  asserted that 
it has developed  a formal policy that will  ensure that any 
future  proposed  satellite  relocations  to  other  orbital 
positions are  vetted and  monitored by the  DIRECTV General 
Counsel to  ensure compliance  with the  Commission Rules.15  
IB  referred  the  matter  to  the  Enforcement  Bureau  for 
enforcement action.


     6.        Under   Section  25.117(a)   of  the   Rules, 
Commission approval is required before a modification may be 
implemented  which  affects  the  parameters  or  terms  and 
conditions  of  a  Part 25  radio  station  authorization.16  
DIRECTV  readily  acknowledges   that  its  personnel  began 
repositioning the  satellite one  day after  DIRECTV applied 
for the STA request to relocate DIRECTV 3 without Commission 
approval of  that modification.   Accordingly, we  find that 
DIRECTV's unauthorized modification of the subject satellite 
apparently  willfully17  and repeatedly18  violated  Section 
25.117(a) of the Rules.   

     7.        In  light of  DIRECTV's apparent  willful and 
repeated  violation of  Section 25.117(a)  of the  Rules, we 
find that  a forfeiture is warranted.   Section 503(b)(1)(B) 
of  the  Act  states  that   any  person  who  willfully  or 
repeatedly fails to comply with  any provision of the Act or 
any  rule, regulation,  or order  issued by  the Commission, 
shall be liable for  a forfeiture penalty.19  The Commission 
is authorized  to assess a  forfeiture of up to  $11,000 for 
each violation, or each day  of a continuing violation, by a 
non-common   carrier  or   other  entity   not  specifically 
designated in Section  503(b), up to a  statutory maximum of 
$87,500  for  a   single  act  or  failure   to  act.20   In 
determining  the  appropriate  forfeiture  amount,  we  must 
consider the  factors enumerated in Section  503(b)(2)(D) of 
the Act,  including ``the nature, circumstances,  extent and 
gravity of the violation, and, with respect to the violator, 
the degree  of culpability,  any history of  prior offenses, 
ability  to  pay, and  such  other  matters as  justice  may 

     8.        The Commission's  Forfeiture Policy Statement 
and Section  1.80 of the  Rules establish a  base forfeiture 
amount  for the  operation  at an  unauthorized location  or 
frequency of $4,000.22  However, we think that a substantial 
upward  adjustment   of  this  base  forfeiture   amount  is 
warranted.   As  DIRECTV   implicitly  acknowledged  in  its 
October 3, 2003 STA request,23 strict adherence to the rules 
that  govern  modification  of satellite  authorizations  is 
critical to minimizing the  risk of collision of satellites.  
Moreover, DIRECTV's violation  has continued since September 
4, 2003, when DIRECTV began the process of repositioning the 

     9.        In   addition,  in   the  Forfeiture   Policy 
Statement,  the Commission  made clear  that companies  with 
higher revenues, such as DIRECTV,25 could expect forfeitures 
higher than those reflected in the base amounts:

     [O]n the  other end  of the spectrum  of potential 
     violations, we recognize that  for large or highly 
     profitable   communication   entities,  the   base 
     forfeiture amounts ... are generally low.  In this 
     regard,  we  are  mindful that,  as  Congress  has 
     stated,  for  a  forfeiture  to  be  an  effective 
     deterrent against  these entities,  the forfeiture 
     must  be  issued  at  a high  level....  For  this 
     reason,  we caution  all entities  and individuals 
     that, independent from the uniform base forfeiture 
     amounts ...,  we intend  to take into  account the 
     subsequent   violator's   ability    to   pay   in 
     determining   the  amount   of  a   forfeiture  to 
     guarantee that forfeitures issued against large or 
     highly  profitable  entities  are  not  considered 
     merely an affordable cost of doing business.  Such 
     large or highly  profitable entities should expect 
     in this regard that  the forfeiture amount set out 
     in a Notice of Apparent Liability against them may 
     in many  cases be above,  or even well  above, the 
     relevant base amount.26

     10.       We  believe  that  the  factors  cited  above 
justify the maximum proposed  forfeiture.  Further, while we 
find  DIRECTV's  efforts  to   ensure  compliance  with  the 
provisions of Section  25.117(a) of our Rules  in the future 
commendable, such  a post-remedial measure does  not lessen, 
mitigate, or  excuse its past violation.27   Considering all 
of the  enumerated factors and the  particular circumstances 
of this case, we conclude  that DIRECTV is apparently liable 
for a forfeiture  in the amount of the  statutory maximum of 
$87,500 for  its apparent willful and  repeated violation of 
Section 25.117(a) of the Rules.  


     11.       Accordingly, IT IS  ORDERED that, pursuant to 
Section 503(b)  of the  Act and Section  1.80 of  the Rules, 
FOR A FORFEITURE in the amount of eighty seven thousand five 
hundred  dollars  ($87,500)  for  willfully  and  repeatedly 
violating Section 25.117(a) of the Rules.

     12.       IT  IS  FURTHER  ORDERED  THAT,  pursuant  to 
Section 1.80 of the Rules, within thirty days of the release 
date of this Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture and 
Order,  DIRECTV,  Inc. SHALL  PAY  the  full amount  of  the 
proposed  forfeiture  or  SHALL  FILE  a  written  statement 
seeking   reduction   or   cancellation  of   the   proposed 

     13.       Payment  of the  forfeiture  may  be made  by 
mailing a check or similar  instrument, payable to the order 
of the Federal Communications  Commission, to the Forfeiture 
Collection Section,  Finance Branch,  Federal Communications 
Commission,  P.O. Box  73482, Chicago,  Illinois 60673-7482.  
The  payment  must  include   the  FCC  Registration  Number 
(``FRN'') and the NAL/Acct. No. referenced in the caption. 

     14.       The response,  if any, must be  mailed to the 
Office of the  Secretary, Federal Communications Commission, 
445  12th  Street,  S.W.,   Washington,  D.C.  20554,  ATTN: 
Enforcement Bureau - Spectrum Enforcement Division, and must 
include the NAL/Acct. No. referenced in the caption.

     15.       The Commission will  not consider reducing or 
canceling a forfeiture  in response to a  claim of inability 
to  pay  unless the  petitioner  submits:   (1) federal  tax 
returns for the most recent three-year period; (2) financial 
statements   prepared   according  to   generally   accepted 
accounting;  or  (3)  some   other  reliable  and  objective 
documentation  that  accurately  reflects  the  petitioner's 
current  financial status.   Any claim  of inability  to pay 
must  specifically  identify  the  basis for  the  claim  by 
reference   to   the  financial   documentation   submitted.  
Requests for payment of the full amount of this NAL under an 
installment  plan  should be  sent  to:  Chief, Revenue  and 
Receivable   Operations  Group,   445  12th   Street,  S.W., 
Washington, D.C. 20554.28

     16.       IT  IS FURTHER  ORDERED that  a copy  of this 
Notice of Apparent Liability  for Forfeiture and Order shall 
be  sent  by first  class  mail  and certified  mail  return 
receipt  requested, to  James  R.  Butterworth, Senior  Vice 
President, Communications Systems,  DIRECTV, Inc., 2230 East 
Imperial Highway, El Segundo, CA  90245, and James H. Barker 
III, Esq., Latham & Watkins, LLP, 555 11th Street, NW, Suite 
1000, Washington, D.C. 20004.


                         Marlene H. Dortch


1  DIRECTV   is  a   wholly-owned  subsidiary   of  DIRECTV 
Enterprises,  LLC, which  is a  Commission licensee  in the 
high-power DBS  service, and  a wholly-owned  subsidiary of 
the DirecTV Group, Inc.

2  47  C.F.R.   25.117(a)  (no  modification of  a  radio 
station governed by Part 25  of the Rules which affects the 
parameters or terms and conditions of station authorization 
except upon prior Commission grant).  

3 DIRECTV, Inc.; Request for Special Temporary Authority to 
Relocate DIRECTV  3 to 82  W.L. and to  Conduct Telemetry, 
Tracking and  Command (``TT&C'') Operations for  an Interim 
Period, (Sept. 3, 2003)  (``STA request'' or ``September 3, 
2003 STA request'').

4 Id. at 1.

5 Id. at 2.

6 Id.  at 1.  At  an altitude  of 308 kilometers  above the 
geostationary satellite orbit,  a satellite drifts westward 
at a rate of slightly  less than three degrees in longitude 
per day.   Thus, there is  a limited ``window'' of  time in 
which it  is possible  for an Earth  station in  the United 
States to communicate with the satellite. 

7 See  Letter from  Gary M.  Epstein, Counsel  for DIRECTV, 
Inc.  to   Thomas  S.  Tycz,  Chief,   Satellite  Division, 
International Bureau,  Federal Communications  Commission 3 
(Oct. 9, 2003) (``Status Letter'').

8 Status Letter at 3.

9 Id.

10  Id.  at 4.   See  DIRECTV,  Inc.; Request  for  Special 
Temporary Authority to  Relocate DIRECTV 3 to  82 W.L. and 
to Conduct  Telemetry, Tracking and Command  Operations for 
an Interim  Period  (Oct.  3, 2003) (``October 3,  2003 STA 
Request'').  In  its October  3, 2003 STA  Request, DIRECTV 
noted that  the DIRECTV  3 satellite presently  is drifting 
toward  Telesat Canada's  Nimiq-2  satellite at  a rate  of 
0.025/day and will enter the Nimiq-2 stationkeeping box of 
82 W.L.  on October 4,  2003.  In order to  ``minimize any 
risk of collision of  these satellites,'' DIRECTV requested 
STA to execute a stationkeeping  maneuver to stop the drift 
of DIRECTV 3, in order to  keep it out of Nimiq-3's orbital 
box, as well as to preclude DIRECTV 3 from drifting further 
westward.  DIRECTV asserted that ``[t]his safety measure is 
manifestly in the public interest.''  Id. at 1.

11 See File No. SAT-STA-20031003-00310.

12 Status Letter at 3.

13 Id.  

14 Id.

15 Id. at 4.

16  None of  the  exceptions to  the  requirement of  prior 
Commission  approval  for  modifications, as  described  in 
Section  25.118 of  the Rules,  47 C.F.R.   25.118,  apply 

17 Section 312(f)(1) of the  Communications Act of 1934, as 
amended (``Act''), 47 U.S.C.   312(f)(1), which applies to 
violations for which forfeitures are assessed under Section 
503(b) of  the Act,  provides that ``[t]he  term `willful,' 
...  means  the  conscious  and  deliberate  commission  or 
omission of such act, irrespective of any intent to violate 
any provision of this Act or  any rule or regulation of the 
Commission  authorized by  this  Act  ....''  See  Southern 
California  Broadcasting   Co.,  6  FCC  Rcd   4387  (1991) 
(``Southern  California'') (discussing  legislative history 
regarding applicability of  Section 312(f)(1) definition of 
``willful'' to Section 503(b)).

18 Section  312(f)(2) of  the Act,  47 U.S.C.   312(f)(2), 
which  also applies  to  forfeitures  assessed pursuant  to 
Section  503(b)  of the  Act,  provides  that ``[t]he  term 
`repeated,' ...  means the  commission or omission  of such 
act more  than once or,  if such commission or  omission is 
continuous,  for   more  than  one  day.''    See  Southern 
California, 6 FCC Rcd at 4388.

19  47  U.S.C.    503(b)(1)(B);   see  also  47  C.F.R.   

20  Section 503(b)(2)(C)  provides  for  forfeitures up  to 
$10,000  for  each  violation   by  cases  not  covered  by  
subparagraph  (A) or  (B),  which  address forfeitures  for 
violations  by  broadcast  licensees and  common  carriers, 
among others. See  47 U.S.C.  503(b).   In accordance with 
the inflation adjustment requirements contained in the Debt 
Collection Improvement  Act of 1996, Pub.  L. 104-134, Sec. 
31001,  110  Stat.  1321,  the  Commission  implemented  an 
increase of the maximum  statutory forfeiture under Section 
503(b)(2)(C)  to  $11,000.   See 47  C.F.R.    1.80(b)(3); 
Amendment  of Section  1.80 of  the Commission's  Rules and 
Adjustment of  Forfeiture Maxima  to Reflect  Inflation, 15 
FCC Rcd 18221 (2000).

21  47 U.S.C.    503(b)(2)(D); see  also The  Commission's 
Forfeiture Policy  Statement and Amendment of  Section 1.80 
of the  Rules to Incorporate the  Forfeiture Guidelines, 12 
FCC   Rcd   17087,   17100  (1997)   (``Forfeiture   Policy 
Statement''),  recon. denied,  15  FCC Rcd  303 (1999);  47 
C.F.R.  1.80(b)(4).

22 Forfeiture  Policy Statement,  12 FCC  Rcd at  17114; 47 
C.F.R.  1.80(b)(4), Note  to Paragraph (b)(4):  Section I. 
Base Amounts for Section 503 Forfeitures.  

23 See supra n. 9 and accompanying text.

24  In successive  correspondence, DIRECTV  notified IB  of 
four additional maneuvers  involving the subject satellite.  
See Letters from James H. Barker, counsel to DIRECTV, Inc., 
to Thomas  S. Tycz, Chief, International  Bureau, Satellite 
Division, Federal Communications Commission (Nov. 21, 2003; 
Dec. 8, 2003; Dec. 30, 2003; and Jan. 15, 2004).

25 DIRECTV,  Inc. reported  that it  had total  revenues of 
$7.193         Billion         in        2002.          See

26 Forfeiture  Policy Statement,  12 FCC Rcd  at 17099-100.  
See also 47 U.S.C.   503(b)(2)(D); 47 C.F.R.  1.80(b)(4), 
Note to paragraph (b)(4):   Section II. Adjustment Criteria 
for Section 503 Forfeitures.

27  See e.g.,  AT&T  Wireless Services,  Inc.,  17 FCC  Rcd 
21866, 21871 (2002); Seawest Yacht  Brokers, 9 FCC Rcd 6099 
(1994); Station KGVL, Inc., 42 FCC 2d 258, 259 (1973).

28 See 47 C.F.R.  1.1914.