We have some great news for customers of DISH satellite, living in Wood, Washington and Pleasants counties.
DISH has informed WTAP that it intends to launch our NBC and FOX stations on its satellite service later this Spring, perhaps by the first of May.
This could get de-railed if some satellite home viewership legislation, currently pending in Congress, runs into a snag. But that is not anticipated.
This is great news for folks living in rural areas of Wood, Washington and Pleasants counties who may receive a marginal signal from WTAP over-the-air or who live in areas where cable is not available.
We've been waiting for this for several years, ever since the satellite companies started offering local TV stations. They started with the huge cities and have been slowly working their way down to the smaller markets. Now it appears they are on the verge of offering local service into virtually every TV market in the U.S.
What this means is that Dish customers in Wood, Washington and Pleasants counties, who have been getting an NBC or FOX affiliate from places like New York or Los Angeles, will be able to get WTAP's NBC and FOX station on satellite if they so choose.
And those folks who have been doing without NBC and FOX due to not having cable or not having a sufficient antenna, will be able to get our two local affiliates from DISH.
This does NOT help customers of DirecTV nor does it help Dish customers outside of Wood, Washington and Pleasants counties, I'm sorry to say. We've heard nothing from Direct about whether or not it ever plans to offer any of our stations to its customers.
So to repeat, it now appears that Dish Satellite will begin offering WTAP's NBC station and our FOX Parkersburg station on satellite, later this Spring, and perhaps as early as May 1, for its customers in Wood, Washington and Pleasants counties.
We will keep you posted as we learn more about the possible start date for this service by Dish.