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Inside Report (4)

Earth to TV satellite . . . come in, please.

Direct-to-home satellite television broadcast will beam into backyard dishes a lot sooner than expected.

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By offering a bigger backyard dish, a company called United Satellite Television plans to get a three-year head start on the fierce competition for the direct broadcast satellite market. USTV plans to rent space on a Canadian satellite when it's launched next April, and plans to offer up to 16 channels of programming similar to cable-TV by next June. The cost: about $30 a month.

The Federal Communications Commission gave the first nod for satellite construction Sept. 23 to the firm that has been farthest ahead, Satellite Television Corporation. It plans to offer three channels by late 1985.