DIRECTV Receives FCC Approval to Share Spectrum with Telesat CanadaEL SEGUNDO, Calif. --(Business Wire)-- Aug. 13, 2004 -- DIRECTV to Offer Local Channels in 130 Markets by Moving DIRECTV 5 Satellite to 72.5 Degree Orbital Slot
DIRECTV, Inc., the nation's leading digital multichannel television provider, today announced that the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has approved its request to move the DIRECTV 5 satellite into an orbital slot controlled by Telesat Canada.
DIRECTV 5 will be moved into the Telesat-controlled orbital location of 72.5 degrees West Longitude allowing DIRECTV to expand local-into-local channel service to an additional 24 local markets. This will bring the number of markets DIRECTV serves with local broadcast channels to 130, covering 92 percent of the television households in the country. DIRECTV today offers local broadcast channels in 106 designated market areas, and will begin the rollout of local channel service in these additional 24 markets in late September and complete the rollout of local channel service in all 24 markets by early October.
"We appreciate the FCC expediting its approval of this request. By doing so, the twin policy goals of competition and localism will be enhanced in an additional 7 million households," said Mitchell Stern, president and CEO of DIRECTV, Inc.
Customers in the 24 markets to be served by DIRECTV 5 will access all local channels from 72.5 degrees with the addition of a second 18-inch satellite dish at their home or service location. DIRECTV will provide the second satellite dish and installation free of charge to customers who commit to one year of DIRECTV TOTAL CHOICE(R) programming.
DIRECTV 5 will remain at the 72.5 degree orbital position until the launch of Telesat's new DBS satellite. Telesat's new DBS satellite will provide the ability to ensure continuity of service at the 72.5 degree location. Telesat Canada will assume telemetry, tracking and control (TT&C) of DIRECTV 5 after an interim period.
DIRECTV is the nation's leading digital multichannel television service provider with more than 13 million customers. DIRECTV, TOTAL CHOICE and the Cyclone Design logo are registered trademarks of DIRECTV, Inc., a unit of The DIRECTV Group, Inc. (NYSE:DTV). The DIRECTV Group is a world-leading provider of digital multichannel television entertainment, broadband satellite networks and services, and global video and data broadcasting. Hughes is 34 percent owned by Fox Entertainment Group, which is approximately 82 percent owned by News Corporation Ltd.