Eshoo: If DISH can carry porn, it can carry PBS

The company filed the complaint with the district court in Las Vegas on Thursday, requesting a temporary restraining order and an order to show cause for a preliminary injunction. 

Eshoo wrote the amendment creating the HD requirement, which became law in May as part of the Satellite Television Extension and Localism Act of 2010. The provision forces satellite providers to carry non-commercial stations in HD by 2011 in any market where they carry a station in HD.

In her statement, Eshoo said that DISH’s decision is “an affront to their customers” who “expect and deserve” the service.

“I and millions of other Americans depend on public television to deliver truth, entertainment, facts and beauty,” she said. 

DISH said in its filing that carrying signals in HD requires more bandwidth. It argued that deciding which stations to carry that way should be an editorial choice by the company. 

The requirement is a sign that “Congress believes that government-sponsored speech is more valuable to DISH’s subscribers than other programs that DISH might offer in HD or other uses to which DISH might put its scarce bandwidth,” the filing said. 

The filing added that DISH “values PBS programming” but the question at hand is “who gets to make the editorial judgement whether to carry local PBS stations in HD — DISH or the government.”

DISH declined to comment on Eshoo’s remarks.