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SBCA Fights NAB Petition

By | November 1, 2004

      The Satellite Broadcasting and Communications Association’s (SBCA’s) government affairs staff is focused on fighting the National Association of Broadcasters’ (NAB) “ridiculous petition” opposing the delivery of local weather and traffic programming by the two U.S. satellite radio services, said Richard DalBello, president of the SBCA. Much of the past week involved meetings with FCC officials to address the issue.

      SBCA’s comments on the NAB petition will be formalized in an ex parte filing, which will remind the FCC that programming offered by satellite radio providers does not violate their licenses or any FCC regulations. Indeed, it bears no economic threat to terrestrial radio service. SBCA also will explain that satellite radio providers are providing a great service to the public by offering pertinent information to their listeners.

      The group also noted the NAB’s requests for a ban on “locally oriented” programming by satellite radio would violate First Amendment rights. The NAB petition currently stands before the commission, with an anticipated ruling date of Nov. 9.

      In other SBCA news, in anticipation of upcoming FCC agenda items, the association’s staff met with legal advisors at the commission concerning multicast and digital must-carry. The SBCA also met with Capitol Hill staffers to answer questions on the re- authorization of SHVIA (Satellite Home Viewer Improvement Act). Although there has been much discussion on the outcome of SHVIA, no firm direction has been decided. Pressure is mounting for action, because the existing compulsory licenses to certain types of signals expires Dec. 31.

      (Richard DalBello, SBCA, 703/549-6990)

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