Legislation unveiled in the House on Tuesday would extend to direct broadcast satellite (DBS) providers “must-carry” rules similar to those applicable to cable operators. Introduced by Rep. Bart Stupak (D-MI), the Satellite Consumers Right to Local Channels Act (H.R. 927) responds to what Stupak claims to be a scarcity of satellite-based local channel service in rural areas and, in the words of one analyst, would also address “a long-standing sore point between broadcasters and the satellite TV companies.” (Statistics cited by Stupak show that neither DirecTV nor DISH Network provides any local channel service in 31 out of 210 TV markets nationwide.) Announcing the proposed legislation, Stupak charged that, “without their local channels, millions of rural Americans are denied access to critical emergency alerts and local content such as sporting events and news broadcasts.” Introduced as lawmakers prepare to begin work on the reauthorization of the Satellite Home Viewer Improvement Act that is slated to expire later this year, Stupak’s bill would give DISH and DirecTV one year from passage in which to provide local channel service to all TV markets. Although the National Association of Broadcasters pledged support for the bill, a spokesman for DirecTV asserted: “though we plan to continue to launch additional local channel markets, the proposed legislation to force DirecTV to spend an enormous amount of money with little or no return on that investment in these challenging economic times is most troubling.”