75.7 F
Cruz Bay
Saturday, January 28, 2023

HomeNewsArchivesNetwork TV Blockage Explained: Courts Ban Echostar Network

Network TV Blockage Explained: Courts Ban Echostar Network

Dec. 13, 2006 – The federal courts have blocked some satellite television broadcasts of network programs, previously received in the Virgin Islands, and the U.S. Congress is trying to remedy the situation.
The distribution of major network programming by way of disc receivers had long been the subject of a major, nationwide dispute between the networks, on one hand, and Echostar Communications, on the other.
The networks said that Echostar had been stealing the signals, and Echostar replied that some of its recipients could not receive the programs in any other way, being beyond TV broadcast areas and, in some cases, miles from the nearest cable connection.
As of Dec. 1, the U.S. District Court in the Southern District of Florida ruled "Echostar [and its allies] are hereby PERMANENTLY ENJOINED AND RESTRAINED [emphasis original] from the secondary transmission … of a performance … of any network station affiliated with ABC, Inc., CBS Broadcasting, Inc., Fox Broadcasting, or National Broadcasting Co."
The court ruling has no impact on viewers who receive TV signals from the usual broadcast towers or from cable hook-ups — only those using disc receivers.
Meanwhile, according to Delegate Donna Christensen's office, efforts are under way in Congress to introduce and pass legislation that would permit, under stipulated conditions, the revival of distant broadcasting to places like the Virgin Islands where viewers are unable, otherwise, to see the four major networks. An arrangement is contemplated whereby satellite broadcasters would pay for using the network broadcasting.
"There are people in the Virgin Islands, particularly on St. Croix, who have been using the distant broadcasting service that are in a situation where it would cost them thousands of dollars to run cable to their homes," explained Christensen aide Brian Modeste.
Congress is currently out of session but forward movement is anticipated in the next Congress, according to Modeste.
Back Talk

Share your reaction to this news with other Source readers. Please include headline, your name and city and state/country or island where you reside.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Keeping our community informed is our top priority.
If you have a news tip to share, please call or text us at 340-228-8784.

Support local + independent journalism in the U.S. Virgin Islands

Unlike many news organizations, we haven't put up a paywall – we want to keep our journalism as accessible as we can. Our independent journalism costs time, money and hard work to keep you informed, but we do it because we believe that it matters. We know that informed communities are empowered ones. If you appreciate our reporting and want to help make our future more secure, please consider donating.