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US president Obama signs Satellite TV bill

MUMBAI: US President Barack Obama has signed the Satellite TV bill, which extends the Satellite Television and Localism Act for five years.

The extension also extends the ability of rural satellite subscribers to access broadcast channels. Over 1 million rural satellite subscribers will be able to watch distance broadcast channels like CBS and ABC.

Without reauthorisation, the companies’ ability to beam in those channels would have expired at the end of the year.

As per reports, the legislation passed the Congress despite efforts by some lawmakers to include provisions that would have overhauled retransmission consent negotiations across the industry. Broadcasters opposed any such effort, arguing that such reforms should come in the form of standalone legislation.

The legislation was passed in the House and the Senate in November. It extends authorisation for satellite subscribers to access faraway broadcast channels through 31 December 2019.