Congress has agreed to extend the Satellite Home Viewer
Extension and Reauthorization Act by 60 days.
The extension was passed Dec. 19 as an
amendment to the defense appropriations bill, which became a vehicle for
several bills with deadlines, including the satellite extension.
The blanket license, which allows satellite companies to
important distant network signals to viewers who can't receive a viewable
version of their local affiliate, would have expired on Dec. 31.
Now, legislators will have more time to hammer out differences.
Those include a deal to allow Dish Network back into the distant network signal
business in exchange for delivering local TV station signals into all 210 TV
There is also an amendment that would speed up the timetable
for Dish to deliver noncommercial HD signals in local markets, which the
satellite TV provider has said could interfere with the deal. The extension
also gives Dish and noncoms a chance to come up with their own private carriage
deal, which would moot the amendment.