NAB wants hard date


The National Association of Broadcasters Monday will ask the Federal
Communications Commission to set strict deadlines for satellite-TV provider
DirecTV Inc.'s rollout of small-market local channels.

The NAB said the timetable should be a condition of News Corp.'s bid for the direct-broadcast satellite

Petitions to block or impose conditions on News Corp.'s bid to control
DirecTV are due at the FCC Monday.

Broadcasters are skeptical of News Corp. chairman Rupert Murdoch's pledge to
offer local stations in all 210 markets "as soon as economically and
technologically feasible."

Separately, the Center for Digital Democracy will ask the FCC to reject the
deal on the grounds that News Corp. will have the power to jack up the rates its
cable competitors pay for programming and will also be in a position to control
the program-guide market.