SATELLITE ASSOCIATION RESPONDS TO PERMANENT INJUNCTION IN NETWORK SIGNALS COURT CASE
--Industry Alarmed by Decision that Will Affect Over 3 Million TV Consumers;
Encouraged by Possible Reconsideration Following FCC Rulemaking--
ALEXANDRIA, VA, JANUARY 4, 1999 – Charles C. Hewitt, president of the Satellite Broadcasting and Communications Association (SBCA), issued the following statement today in response to the decision in the Miami Federal District Court case of CBS, Fox v. PrimeTime 24 issued by Federal Judge Lenore Nesbitt:
"We are extremely concerned by this permanent injunction that will affect over 3 million American television consumers. Beginning April 30, hundreds of thousands of consumers who cannot receive network television signals over-the-air are in jeopardy of losing access to the network service they currently receive via satellite. We are encouraged that the cut-off date has been set after February 1, when the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is expected to issue its rulemaking on the network signal issue, and that the judge specifically indicated she ‘reserves the right to issue a supplemental order after the FCC has resolved the rulemaking issues pending before it relative to this lawsuit.’
"This decision by the Miami court only increases the importance of the FCC’s action on this issue. It is now critical that they act to protect satellite consumers nationwide. But we remain extremely concerned, as the National Association of Broadcasters continues its efforts to challenge the FCC’s authority over network signal delivery."
The Satellite Broadcasting and Communications Association of America (SBCA) is the national trade organization representing all segments of the home satellite industry. It is committed to expanding the utilization of satellite technology for the broadcast delivery of entertainment, news, information and educational programming. The SBCA is composed of DBS service providers, programmers, equipment manufacturers, distributors, retailers, encryption vendors, and national and regional distribution companies.