NAB Cites Victories in 'White Area' Report

The National Association of Broadcasters is declaring a victory in the Copyright Office's report this week on the effectiveness of the "white area" limitations in the Satellite Home Viewer Extension and Reauthorization (SHVERA). The act required the office to issue the report.

"White areas" are the viewing areas in which DBS companies can import the signal of a network TV station from another market to homes that cannot receive a quality local signal.

The report, says NAB, "adopted virtually all of NAB's recommendations."

Those were, principally, that 1) the current FCC standard for determining the quality of a signal is best, 2) that no household should get a distant signal if it can already receive an adequate local signal, 3) that no new model to predict digital signal strength should be adopted before more FCC testing, 4) that the money DBS operators pay for the imported signal is not "fair market value,"  5) that syndicated exclusivity should apply to all distant signals, 6) and that DBS companies should not have to pay separate copyright fees for importing local stations into local markets.

John Eggerton

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.