Satellite Home Viewer Improvement Act
From The TV IV
The Satellite Home Viewer Improvement Act, abbreviated SHVIA, is a United States federal regulation governing the eligibility of localized programming towards unserved television markets or households.
Under this act, satellite television services such as DirecTV and Dish Network are permitted to transmit non-local feeds of major broadcast networks "for private home viewing" to "persons who reside in unserved households." Taken from the act, "private home viewing" is defined as "viewing, for private use in a household by means of satellite reception equipment which is operated by an individual in that household and which serves only that household." An "unserved household" is defined as a household that receives less than a Grade B signal from specific local stations. For example, if one cannot receive a good enough grade signal of one of the big four networks, the satellite provider is allowed to provide the household with an out-of-market affiliate station. These stations are almost always taken from New York City for east feeds, or Los Angeles for west feeds.
Satellite providers are required to use the Individual Location Longley-Rice model to determine if a customer's household is unserved.
This act also applies for satellite customers whose local affiliates do not have an HD signal. Come February 2009, this portion of the act will no longer be necessary.