EchoStar Asks FCC To Declare Big Ten Regional Sports Net

Citing
stalled negotiations and a desire for arbitration, EchoStar has asked the FCC
to declare that the Big Ten Network is a regional sports network, which the FCC
could require to submit to arbitration, rather than a national programming
network, which it could not.

In a
filing for a declaratory ruling Monday, EchoStar essentially used the “if
it walks and talks like an RSN, it’s an RSN” argument, saying that the
network, a joint venture of Fox Cable Services and the Big Ten athletic
conference, has regional programming and is priced like a regional programmer
and bears “little relation to the greatly reduced pricing structure of
existing national college sports-based networks [like] CSTV and ESPNU.”

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