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Satellite Owners Will Soon Have Closer Options

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RALEIGH — Satellite TV companies are getting a running start on the holiday season. Owning a dish will soon give you more options including those closer to home.

President Bill Clinton signed a law Monday that will allow satellite owners to watch local TV news, weather and sports just like cable subscribers.

If you have a satellite TV system, you will be able to watch all your favorite local and network programs through your dish.

If you flip through the channels onDirectTV, you will see no local news or major network programming. At least not until now.

You had to have cable or an antenna to get WRAL and local stations on your television.

Customers like Alan Wiggs were saying "No" to a dish and sticking with cable but not anymore.

"I think it's great. We've waited for this for a long time. So have the people in Raleigh and everywhere across the country," said Bill Honeycutt of Now Audio/Video.

It was a big day for John Hutchinson.

"It's certainly a victory forCapitol Broadcasting Company," said Hutchinson.

As head of Capitol Broadcasting'sLocal TV on Satellite, he and his co-workers can now launch two satellites, and by 2002 they will beam local stations and all the satellite stations to one new dish.

"We'll be controlling the access and quality control of 800 TV stations across the country reaching 75 percent of Americans right here from Raleigh," explained Hutchinson.

Adding the local stations is cheap. It only costs about $5 or $6 a month extra. DirectTV orDish Networksare currently working on deals with local stations.

You could see some local stations on your dish within a few weeks, but by spring FOX, ABC, NBC and CBS should all be there.

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Todd Hauer, Reporter
Greg Clark, Photographer
John Clark, Web Editor

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