The Satellite Home Viewer Improvement Act of 1999 (SHVIA) provides significant modifications to the Satellite Home Viewer Act of 1988, the Communications Act, and the U.S. Copyright Act. SHVIA was enacted to promote competition among multichannel video programming distributors. These include satellite companies and cable television operators. It was also intended to encourage an increase in programming choices.
SHVIA allows satellite companies to broadcast local TV signals to their subscribers who live in the local TV station’s market. SHVIA also allows satellite companies to provide “distant” network broadcast stations to certain eligible satellite subscribers. The satellite company has the option of providing local TV signals into a local TV station’s market, but it does not have to do so. Some satellite companies have opted to provide this service in some viewing markets. Users can contact their satellite company to determine whether and when the service is available in their market.