CHART: Pending DBS Legislation


McCain Bill (S. 303)

• Imposes must-carry rules from the 1992 Cable Act onDBS carriers that elect to serve markets with local TV signals. All stations in a servedmarket must be carried no later than Jan. 1, 2002.

Coble Bill (H.R. 1027)

• The same Jan. 1, 2002, deadline would apply, but thelanguage used is quite general, and it makes no reference, as McCain's bill does, tothe cable must-carry provisions contained in the 1992 Cable Act.

• Other provisions are similar to the Hatch bill.

Hatch Bill (S. 247)

• Amends copyright law to permit DBS carriers to servehome-dish owners with their local TV signals. No copyright royalties have to be paid, andthe license is permanent

• Cuts monthly copyright fees for distant networksfrom 27 cents per signal, per subscriber to 14.8 cents, and for superstations from 27cents to 18.9 cents.

• Extends the distant-signal compulsory license fromDec. 31, 1999, to Dec. 31, 2004.

• Vacates law stating that former cable subscribershave to wait 90 days before becoming eligible to buy distant networks via satellite.