House Passes DBS-Fee Rollback


Washington -- The House of Representatives passed by voice
vote Wednesday night a bill that would roll back copyright fees paid by direct-broadcast
satellite carriers to distribute superstations and distant-network signals to 1997 levels.

Since Jan. 1, DBS operators have been paying 27 cents per
signal, per month, per subscriber to sell the four major networks and superstation WGN to
home-dish owners.

Under the bill (H.R. 2921), the old rates of 6 cents for a
network and either 14 cents or 17.5 cents for a superstation will remain in effect until
Dec. 31, 1999, retroactive to Jan. 1, 1998.

Companion Senate legislation, passed in July, would restore
the old rates but allow the 27-cent rate to take effect March 31, 1999.