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Bill aims to increase local program choices for satellite subscribers

U.S. Sen. John Sununu (R-NH) last week introduced legislation aimed at providing satellite consumers in certain small state markets with a wider range of television programming choices. It is called the “Direct Broadcast Satellite Access Improvement Act.”

Under current law, a satellite carrier’s right to carry local broadcast signals is limited by traditional ‘market’ designations, in some cases giving consumers local broadcasting options only from outside their own state.

“For example, New Hampshire’s northern region is prevented from receiving local news, political, and emergency programming from the state’s local broadcasters,” said Sununu. “My bill addresses the problems by allowing carriers in the smallest state markets to offer a local network signal throughout the state, giving more programming options to the consumer.”

The legislation, co-sponsored by Sens. Judd Gregg (R-NH), Patrick Leahy (D-VT), and James Jeffords (I-VT) has been referred to the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation. The bill compliments similar legislation introduced in the House.

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