House Panel Seeks to Raise Satellite Royalties (1 Viewer)


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Sep 8, 2003
Las Vegas, Nevada
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - [size=-1]A U.S. House of Representatives panel on Thursday backed a measure that would raise the fees satellite television services like EchoStar Communications Corp. and DirecTV pay to carry some broadcast channels.[/size]
The House Judiciary subcommittee on intellectual property approved raising the rates at least 11 percent from the 14.85 cents per subscriber monthly royalty for a network station and 18.9 cents per subscriber for a superstation starting in 2005.
A Library of Congress (news - web sites) panel would then review and set the new the royalty rate, evaluating all programing prices including such popular channels as cable's ESPN, some of which can garner as much as $2 a subscriber.
The last time that happened the royalty rate went to 27 cents, up 350 percent. That dramatic jump led Congress to order discounts for the satellite providers in 1999, which the new legislation would extend.

"The companies are enjoying fresh growth and success that I don't foresee any need to pass on the royalty rate adjustments to consumers," Rep. Lamar Smith, a Texas Republican and chairman of the subcommittee, told reporters. "I think there will be very little impact if any on consumers."
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