DeWine, Kohl Seek New GAO Report

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Two senators Wednesday asked for a government report that would examine, on a market-by-market basis, the subscriber penetration of the direct-broadcast satellite industry.

Sens. Mike DeWine (R-Ohio) and Herb Kohl (D-Wis.) requested the study from the General Accounting Office, which has completed two major cable studies for Congress since October.

EchoStar Communications Corp.’s Dish Network and DirecTV Inc. -- the two major DBS operators -- claim about 22% of the pay TV market. But DeWine and Kohl suspect that the two DBS firms have much smaller shares in heavily populated areas and have failed to check rising nominal cable rates.

"It's possible that the 22% figure is somewhat misleading because it appears that competition between satellite and cable is not spread evenly throughout the country," DeWine said in a prepared statement.

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