You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Satcaster bill grows

Lawmakers mulling riders to local channels proposal

WASHINGTON — House and Senate negotiators spent Thursday night nailing down the final details of a bill that will allow satcasters to provide local broadcast channels with the goal of holding a final vote on the bill by early next week.

The core of the bill has already been agreed to by House and Senate staffers and the final result has not pleased the satellite industry. Now negotiations are focused on proposals to use the satcasting legislation as a platform for passage of other proposals.

Among legislation that might be added to the satellite reform bill is so-called cybersquatting proposal that would make it easier for companies to protect their trademarks and famous people to protect their names on the Internet.

In the final days of negotiations over the satcasting bill, broadcasters won almost every single policy fight covering the terms and conditions for their copyright licenses to carry local broadcast channels.

EchoStar CEO Charlie Ergen said he would oppose the bill but it was unclear Thursday if he had won any adjustments that would win his support. Ergen’s company has more than 3 million subscribers across the country. He claims that one of his biggest obstacles to signing up customers is the current rules that bar EchoStar’s Dish direct broadcasting service from offering local channels to customers who want it. But it may be too late. As one broadcast lobbyist put it, “It’s all but soup now.”

Potential ride-alongs

Several sources said the satcasting-related issues are now nailed down and Thursday night’s meeting was scheduled to decide what other legislation gets to ride along on the bill.

Adding cybersquatting to the bill could be problematic. The White House opposes the bill and has not ruled out the possibility of a veto on the legislation. The Clinton administration is concerned that if the U.S. acts unilaterally on cybersquatting, other countries may attempt to create their own policies. Because the Internet does not recognize international boundaries, the White House would like trademark related issues to be decided by an international mediating body.

More Biz

  • Daily Show Viacom

    DirecTV, Viacom Avert Blackout After Marathon Negotiation

    DirecTV and Viacom have agreed on a carriage renewal pact covering a raft of Viacom’s cable channels after a marathon negotiation over the weekend. In a joint statement early Monday, the companies said: “We are pleased to announce a renewed Viacom-AT&T contract that includes continued carriage of Viacom services across multiple AT&T platforms and products. [...]

  • Discovery CEO David Zaslav Sees 2018

    Discovery CEO David Zaslav Sees 2018 Compensation Soar to $129.4 Million

    Discovery Inc. president-CEO David Zaslav is once again making headlines for an enormous compensation package. Zaslav’s 2018 compensation soared to $129.44 million in 2018, fueled by stock options and grants awarded as the longtime Discovery chief signed a new employment contract last July that takes him through 2023 at the cable programming group. Zaslav received [...]

  • Jonathan Lamy RIAA

    Jonathan Lamy Stepping Down From RIAA

    Jonathan Lamy, the Recording Industry Association of America’s longtime executive VP of communications and marketing, is stepping down from his post after 17 years, he announced today. As he put it in an email to Variety, “I started back in 2002, which means it’s been 17+ years, four different RIAA CEOs, three format changes and [...]

  • Fox Layoffs

    Disney-21st Fox Layoffs: TV Divisions Brace for Deep Cuts

    A second day of layoffs has begun on the Fox lot in the wake of Disney completing its acquisition of 21st Century Fox on Wednesday. Longtime 20th Century Fox Television Distribution president Mark Kaner is among the senior executives who were formally notified with severance details on Friday morning. 21st Century Fox’s international TV sales [...]

  • anthony pellicano

    Hollywood Fixer Anthony Pellicano Released From Federal Prison

    Anthony Pellicano, the Hollywood private eye whose wiretapping case riveted the industry a decade ago, was released from a federal prison on Friday, a prison spokeswoman confirmed. Pellicano was sentenced in 2008 to 15 years, following his conviction on 78 charges of wiretapping, racketeering, conspiracy and wire fraud. He had been in custody since 2003, [...]

  • This image taken from the Twitter

    HBO’s Reaction to Trump’s ‘Game of Thrones’ Campaign

    Everyone wants a piece of the “Game of Thrones” lemon cake. From Bud Light to Red Bull the world of Westeros is open to a lot of brand partnerships, unless you’re using that iconic typeface to push a political agenda. In November of 2018 President Donald Trump unveiled a “Thrones” inspired poster with the words [...]

  • Leaving Neverland HBO

    'Leaving Neverland' Lawsuit Proves to Be a Judicial Hot Potato

    The Michael Jackson estate sued HBO last month for airing the documentary “Leaving Neverland,” which accuses the late King of Pop of serial child sexual abuse. Since then, the case has had a difficult time finding a judge to handle it. Three federal judges have recused themselves in the last week, citing potential financial conflicts [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content