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House Commerce Committee Passes SHVERA
10/15/2009

SHVERAhouseWASHINGTON: The House Commerce Committee passed its version of satellite TV legislation today. The Satellite Home Viewer Extension Act, up for renewal this year, determines what broadcast signals a satellite TV provider can carry into a given market. The House bill was marked up to include a new way to measure signal reception.

Households on the fringe of designated market areas that cannot receive stations from within the market are eligible to receive distant signals from other markets via satellite. The methodology for determining household eligibility for distant signals is based on analog transmission. Rep. Rick Boucher (D-Va.) introduced an amendment directing the FCC to come up with a new digital metric using the Longley-Rice model.

The amended bill, H.R. 2994, gives the commission 180 days to create a new predictive model for determining DTV reception via a stationary, 30-foot rooftop antenna (as well as other antenna types).

The new version also allows Dish Network to deliver distant signals in exchange for delivering local-into-local in all 210 DMAs within the next two years. Another amendment requires Dish to carry the HD signals of public TV stations by 2011.

The bill passed the committee by voice vote. It must be reconciled with legislation passed by the Judiciary Committee before going for a floor vote. Companion SHVERA legislation in the Senate was the subject of a subcommittee hearing there last week.
-- Deborah D. McAdams

(Image by Let Ideas Compete)

More on SHVERA
:

October 8, 2009
: Broadcasters Fight SHVERA Modifications
Until a new digital metric is determined, Karpowicz suggested grandfathering in distant signals allowed by the previous determination.

July 15, 2009
: Congressman Bows Bill to Import TV Signals
Arkansas Democrat Mike Ross is pushing legislation to overturn the current rules governing which broadcast signals satellite and cable operators can carry.

June 25, 2009: “SHVERA Passes House 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.

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 SHVERA.

May 8, 2009: “ACA 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.

March 30, 2009: “Network 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.

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