The National Cable & Telecommunications Association praised the introduction of the Satellite Home Viewer Update and Reauthorization Act (SHVURA), the House version of the bill to reauthorize the copyright license allowing satellite to retransmit TV station signals.
NCTA President Kyle McSlarrow said Wednesday that his organization "strongly supports" retaining the current compulsory license. An earlier draft of the bill would have proposed allowing stations to opt out and negotiate independently so long as they could line up the rights to all of their programming.
NCTA has said that if Congress was going to do an overhaul, it would need to look at retransmission consent, which House leadership had indicated would not be part of the discussion given the need to move quickly and get a bill passed by the end of the year.
He also gave a shout-out to the bill's inclusion of a negotiated solution to the dispute between content creators and distributors over so-called phantom signals. Those are cases in which cable operators' royalty payments in some cases were based on subscribers that weren't getting the signals.
The compromise is said to be a one-time payment by cable, and a fix so that they no longer have to pay for programming their subs aren't getting.
"SHVURA is a pro-consumer bill that ensures fair compensation for copyright owners while enabling cable and satellite operators to continue to provide consumers with the broadcast stations they enjoy today."
The bill is being marked up in the House Judiciary Wednesday. It must still be reconciled with a Senate version introduced this week, and passed by the end of the year or the license will sunset.