Cable television operators argue, for example, that they now face competition from direct-broadcast satellites and will soon have to defend themselves against the phone companies.
The smaller dishes can receive medium- and high-powered direct-broadcast satellite.
The struggle arises from the limited number of orbital parking spaces that are suitable for direct-broadcast satellites.
Cable executives insisted they could not risk raising rates at a time when they face new competition from direct-broadcast satellite and telephone companies.
But direct-broadcast satellite still has fewer than 2 million subscribers - compared with 61 million for cable.
Mr. Aronsohn estimated that direct-broadcast satellite would have 10.5 million subscribers by the year 2000.
Also, in the early 1980's, Comsat sank $193 million into building two direct-broadcast satellites, only to stop the project amid poor market prospects.
It has opened the airwaves to cellular phones and direct-broadcast satellites.
The country which would receive these broadcasts would have to be large enough and also close to the equator for testing a direct-broadcast satellite.
Some 22,300 miles above the equator, there are three orbital slots authorized for direct-broadcast satellites.