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Currently working sound editorial/design/post on an H2 series. Early on had a DME deliverable kicked back for not being at same level as the Printmaster. Upon review, the level was identical (LKFS), but the DME was not limited, as was the Printmaster.
After getting in contact with the network, it was clear that they wanted all deliverables limited to -10.
I'm curious why? If you reassembled shows for broadcast from limited elements, at some point you risk peaking above your own spec. Why not reassemble and limit on master?
And I do understand how badly our sound is abused by some networks before going to broadcast regardless of their spec.
Glib answer.... because that's what they asked for! There are all sorts of questionable (from an audio quality standpoint) delivery specs (do a DUC search on Discovery specs and see the fireworks), but at the end of the day, arguing specs with the Broadcaster/Distributer will still result in them bouncing it back, and upset producers, who have to have things redone. The Golden Rule applies here... "Those who have the Gold, make the rules" :)
More serious answer... many times DME's are not just used to re-assemble mixes, but to create promo's and such for the material. These are usually done in house and seldom see audio-post. By having limited stems they have a "known" starting point -they may just want to use a music sting for example, at the end of a VO promo. Plus if they are using an element they know that if they play it a unity it will NOT go over spec. You are correct that they could indeed go over their spec if they were adding say a VO, but to them it's "one less thing to worry about". Most specs for DME's I receive require them to be limited as per the mix.
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