Through a stand-alone bill approved by both chambers of Congress and signed by President Obama last Friday, DISH Network and DirecTV were given yet another extension of compulsory retransmission rights that were last granted to the DBS industry in 2004. Members of the Senate, meanwhile, approved by unanimous consent a satellite reauthorization bill that mirrors separate pending House legislation in nearly all respects except for a provision that provides a ten-year license term instead of five. Friday’s action renews the provisions of the 2004 Satellite Home Viewer Extension and Reauthorization Act (SHVERA) through April 30 and constitutes the third extension of SHVERA since its originally scheduled expiration on December 31, 2009. Like previous temporary extensions, the bill enacted on Friday provides lawmakers with additional time to finalize legislation that would renew the compulsory license for a longer term. To that end, members of the House and Senate Judiciary and Commerce committees have endorsed the Satellite Television Extension and Localism Act of 2010 (STELA), which, in addition to renewing the compulsory license, (1) restores DISH Network’s right to offer distant broadcast network signals in exchange for the company’s commitment to expand local-into-local service to all television markets, (2) moves up deadlines for satellite delivery of non-commercial broadcast signals in HD format, and (3) corrects the problem of “phantom signals” that result in cable operators having to pay program carriage fees for subscribers who don’t receive those signals. The five-year license term outlined in STELA, however, is holding up passage as the negative flow of license and copyright payments over the proposed five-year period runs counter to new congressional “pay-go” rules that require bills to be budget neutral. Committee sources indicate that the ten-year license term provided in the new Senate bill (also known as STELA) would enable a positive cash cycle of license and copyright payments to the government of up to $346 million. While admitting that the proposed tenyear term “is not my preferred course of action,” Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-VT) nevertheless called on House members “to enact STELA as swiftly as possible.”