SHVA Information

SHVA Waiver Information

The following information is for viewers who would like to request a waiver of the Satellite Home Viewer act in order to receive the ABC Network over their home satellite dish. You must be unable to receive TV Alabama, Inc.'s broadcast signal over a rooftop antenna to qualify for a waiver.

TV Alabama, Inc. accepts these requests only in writing. In order to be eligible for a waiver, the viewer must either live in an area known to have serious reception problems of television signals from the Birmingham/Tusacaloosa/Anniston area, or must describe physical features such as hillsides, dense forestation or other terrain that would obstruct a television signal from the Washington area.

The letter must include the satellite subscriber's home address and, if different, the address at which the satellite dish is installed, including the zip code. Please indicate which satellite company should receive the waiver if it is approved.

These requests should be mailed to:

Alabama's ABC 33/40P.O. Box 360039Birmingham, AL 35236

They may also be faxed to:


For faxes, please indicate Attn: Satellite Home Viewer Act on the envelope or fax heading.

About the SHVA

The Satellite Home Viewer Act was passed into law in 1988 and reenacted in 1994. The act allows satellite carriers to provide certain subscribers with a package of network affiliated stations as part of their service offering. Viewers eligible to receive this service are those subscribers{} who are not capable of receiving their local affiliates signal through the use of a rooftop antenna or who have not received network affiliated stations via cable within the past 90 days.

The purpose of the act is twofold. First, it was designed to allow viewers in areas unable to receive a signal from their local affiliate (the so-called "white areas") to receive network programming and secondly to protect the copyright area of local network affiliates. Although the basis of the act seems simple and clear cut, compliance with it has been difficult.

Monitoring compliance to the act has traditionally fallen into the hands of individual network stations. According to the SHVA, satellite carriers are required to send lists of new distant network subscribers to each network. The networks may then distribute this information to each affiliated station. It is then up to the individual station to find a way of figuring out exactly which of those households are within their predicted grade B signal area. Thus far, that has been done by cross-referencing the lists to Zip Code directories, topographical maps, or by using old-fashioned guesswork. The job has been difficult, inexact and time-consuming. Many stations have simply allowed the lists to pile up rather than tackle the job of identifying which households should not be receiving the satellite network package.


If you'd like more details on the SHVA, you can read the entire Satellite Home Viewer Act.

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