06.25.2009 04:00 PM
SHVERA Passes House Subcommittee

WASHINGTON: A House subcommittee passed the bill reauthorizing carriage of TV signals by direct broadcast satellite operators. H.R. 2994, the Satellite Home Viewer Extension and Reauthorization Act passed by a voice vote of the House Communications, Technology and Internet subcommittee. The only changes to the legislation as it was written in 2004 were the date and the provision to measure digital signal coverage using the Longley-Rice model employed by the FCC. The bill renews satellite carriage of certain out-of-market broadcast signals for another five years.

Rick Boucher, the Virginia Democrat who heads the subcommittee, said carriers, broadcasters and lawmakers are also close to working out full local-into-local coverage. Currently, DirecTV offers local stations in 150 of 210 markets, he said. Dish carries local stations in around 180 markets.

“I can report this morning that we are very close to agreement on an arrangement through which all 210 markets will receive local satellite-delivered service,” Boucher said in a statement.

He also said that the House Commerce and Judiciary committees would look into areas where people can’t receive the local TV channels in their own markets.

“While satellite carriers can today import distant signals from any market, they are hindered in their desire to bring in adjacent market signals by the so-called ‘Grade B bleed’ problem, which prevents them from offering distant signals to those households that can receive the signal of an out of market network affiliate over the air,” he said. “That problem can and should be usefully addressed.”

The bill will next go to the full committee for markup.
-- Deborah D. McAdams

Previous TVB SHVERA coverage:
June 16, 2009 Broadcasters Battle for Signal Protection
The broadcast lobby is playing the localism card in a big way as Congress considers the renewal of the Satellite Home Viewer Extension and Reauthorization Act. Cable and satellite operators are agitating to import the signals of TV stations in distant markets, while broadcasters contend that doing so will destroy incumbent stations. Currently, the law allows carriers to provide distant signals to households that cannot receive TV stations in their own designated market areas.

May 8, 2009ACA Says Retrans is Squeezing Too Hard
The cable industry has not yet rolled over on retransmission consent, whether or not it comes up in pending satellite copyright legislation. The American Cable Association this week released a summary of how broadcasters reaped hefty retrans fees from cable operators in the first quarter of this year. The broadcast lobby in turn released numbers showing how much money cable operators are making from subscribers.

March 30, 2009Network Affiliates Urge Lawmakers to Preserve Distant-Signal Limits
CBS and NBC are urging key lawmakers to maintain restrictions on what TV stations cable and satellite operators can carry in a given market. The networks today penned separate letters to members of the House and Senate committees handling the renewal of SHVERA, the Satellite Home Viewer Extension and Reauthorization Act.

 



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