Kerry considering carriage requirements for satellite providers

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The Senate Judiciary Committee passed a reauthorization bill, and the Commerce Committee is coming up with its own draft before going to conference. The main question: Should satellite providers be required to carry every local station in every market?

Satellite companies say no. They already provide local channels to 95 percent of U.S. markets, they say, and in markets that are too small to get a return on their investment of offering local channels, they offer distant channels instead. That means that a consumer in rural Wyoming who cannot receive local stations may receive stations from Denver or Salt Lake City instead. Satellite providers say that many of the 29 markets for which they do not carry local stations are simply too small to recoup the investment of building facilities to pump local channels to those homes.