|LTVS Signs More Local Station Contracts|
The News and Observer Newspaper (N&O) reported on Tuesday, April 11 that over the previous weekend, Local TV on Satellite signed 50 local station contracts reaching 25% of US households. This article followed an earlier announcement that 178 Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) members also have agreed to work with LTVS.
The newspaper describes Local TV on Satellite as a Raleigh start-up company that intends to sell local programming to satellite companies on a wholesale basis. The reasoning is by working with LTVS, satellite companies (DirecTV and EchoStar) would not have to reach their own individual agreements with the local television stations in the nation’s 211 markets. John Hutchinson, the company’s executive vice president, said they expect to sign an additional 50 stations before the end of the week.
According to the N&O, Local TV plans to put two $500 million satellites in orbit that will pick up local programming and network shows and then retransmit them into each stations viewing area by the fall of 2002. The LTVS satellites will also have the capacity to transmit in full digital standard (High Definition), a limitation on current satellites.
The lack of receiving local stations was a cited as a main reason people did not subscribe to satellite service. Since Congress amended the 1988 Satellite Homeviewers Act last November, subscriptions to DirecTV and EchoStar have soared.