This excerpt taken from the DTV 10-K filed Mar 10, 2006.
Carriage requirements may negatively affect DIRECTV U.S.' ability to deliver local broadcast stations, as well as other aspects of its business.
In implementing SHVIA, the FCC has required satellite carriers to delete certain programming, including sports programming, from the signals of certain distant stations. The FCC's interpretation, implementation and enforcement of other provisions of SHVIA and SHVERA, as well as judicial decisions interpreting and enforcing these laws, could hamper DIRECTV U.S.' ability to retransmit distant network and superstation signals, reduce the number of DIRECTV U.S.' existing or future subscribers that can qualify for receipt of these signals, impose costs on DIRECTV U.S. in connection with the process of complying with the rules, or subject DIRECTV U.S. to fines, monetary damages or injunctions. Also, the FCC's sport blackout requirements, which apply to all distant network signals, may require costly upgrades to DIRECTV U.S.' system. Further, a recent FCC order interpreting the requirement that satellite carriers retransmit local digital signals with "equivalent bandwidth" of significantly viewed digital signals may constrain DIRECTV U.S.' ability to deliver such significantly viewed digital signals.
DIRECTV U.S. has limited capacity, and the projected number of markets in which it can deliver local broadcast programming will continue to be constrained because of the must carry requirement and may be reduced depending on the FCC's interpretation of its rules in pending and future rulemaking and complaint proceedings, as well as judicial decisions interpreting must carry
requirements. DIRECTV U.S may not be able to comply with these must carry rules, or compliance may mean that it is not be able to use capacity that could otherwise be used for new or additional local or national programming services.