Senate Panel Approves Satellite License Extension

By Andrew Gauthier 

Dow Jones Newswire

The Senate Judiciary Committee approved a bill Thursday renewing a complex licensing system giving cable and satellite operators the right to broadcast copyrighted television programs.

Similar legislation is pending in the House. The satellite license renewal system expires this year and is considered “must-pass” in Congress.


The U.S. Copyright Office has recommended the elimination of the licenses, but cable and satellite operators say one-on-one negotiations with TV programmers, without further changes in communications law, would put their companies at a disadvantage.

The bill would allow DISH Network Corp. (DISH) and DIRECTV Group Inc. (DTV), the country’s two largest satellite carriers, to beam network channels from nearby markets into markets that lack a local affiliate for one of the four major networks More…