S.2494 - Multichannel Video Competition Act of 1998105th Congress (1997-1998)
Summary: S.2494 — 105th Congress (1997-1998)
Introduced in Senate (09/17/1998)
Multichannel Video Competition Act of 1998 - Amends the Communications Act of 1934 to state that the mandatory local television signal carriage provisions of such Act shall apply no later than January 1, 2002, to satellite carriers retransmitting television (TV) broadcast signals. Directs the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to adopt regulations to facilitate the provision of all qualified local commercial and noncommercial TV stations, either through satellite or terrestrial means, by providers of direct broadcast satellite services (DBS) providing video programming. Requires DBS providers, prior to January 1, 2001, to either carry all eligible local TV stations or compensate any station not carried. Directs the FCC to prescribe a compensation formula. Provides procedures for such stations to petition for such compensation. Requires the payment of additional compensation when the petitioner demonstrates that the formula compensation is insufficient to allow such station to operate in the public interest. Requires petitions to be decided within 150 days.
Requires eligible local TV stations to bear the costs of delivering a good quality signal for retransmission by the satellite carrier.
States that satellite carriers retransmitting the signal of a distant network station to households within an area served by a local affiliate of such network and receiving service as of July 10, 1998, shall not be required to discontinue carriage of the distant station prior to February 28, 1999. Directs the FCC to complete a single rulemaking proceeding defining unserved areas or households.
Authorizes a cable system or other multichannel video programming distributor to retransmit the signal of a broadcasting station in the case of public service stations. Authorizes the retransmission of a signal of a TV station outside the station's local market by a satellite carrier directly to subscribers if: (1) such station was a superstation on May 1, 1991; and (2) on December 31, 1997, such station was a network station and its signal was retransmitted by satellite carriers directly to at least 500,000 subscribers. Authorizes such a retransmission if: (1) such signal was obtained from a satellite carrier; (2) the originating station was a superstation on May 1, 1991; and (3) the originating station was a network station on December 31, 1997, and its signal was retransmitted by a satellite carrier directly to subscribers.