DBS channels go on block

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Direct-broadcast satellite companies can bid for 98 new satellite-TV channels Aug. 6, the Federal Communications Commission said
Tuesday.

All but two of the channels have a footprint too far west to reach viewers on
the U.S. East Coast, but they will reach the rest of the continental United States, as well as
Alaska, Hawaii, Australia and other areas in Asia.

Three western licenses, each permitting 32 channels, are for orbital slots at
175, 166 and 157 degrees.

The minimum opening bid for the 32 channels at 157 degrees is set at $6.4
million, or $200,000 per channel.

Opening bids for slots at 175 degrees and 166 degrees are $1.6 million each,
or $50,000 per channel.

A license for two channels covering the entire continental United States at
61.5 degrees has been set a $1.6 million, or $800,000 per channel.

To make way for the auction, the FCC Tuesday dismissed petitions for some of
the licenses.

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