At the moment, digital-only TV stations are not entitled to demand
satellite-TV carriage, the Federal Communications Commission said Friday as it
dismissed a direct-broadcast satellite carriage request by WHDT-DT Stuart, Fla.
Satellite operators must carry all analog stations in a market or none, but
the FCC said DBS digital-carriage rules are still in the works.
EchoStar Communications Corp. has offered to carry WHDT in a downconverted
analog format, but the station insisted on high-definition.
Mandated HDTV carriage would have posed serious problems for EchoSstar
because HD transmissions eat enormous amounts of satellite capacity.
WHDT's downconverted signal is already carried by the
local Adelphia Communications Corp. cable system.