House Takes Up Satellite-TV Carriage Rules

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The House will get going next week on reauthorization of satellite-TV rules for carriage of local broadcast channels.

The House Judiciary Intellectual Property Subcommittee will hold a hearing on the rules Tuesday at 4 p.m. Witnesses include WDBJ Roanoke, Va., GM Bob Lee, EchoStar General Counsel David Moskowitz, Motion Picture Association of America lobbyist Fritz Attaway and U.S. Register of Copyrights Mary Beth Peters.

The law authorizing satellite TV carriage expires at the end of 2004. Moskowitz is expected to renew EchoStar’s call to let DBS providers import network HDTV signals into local markets where broadcasters are offering DTV at reduced power.

Lee, on behalf of the National Association of Broadcasters, is expected to call for tighter restrictions on imported signals and elimination of an FCC rule allowing DBS providers to offer the most popular local channels on subscribers’ primary dish and segregate the rest to a second dish that many subscribers don’t bother with.

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