HOME > NEWSROOM > ARTICLES > Clean STELA Bill Approved by Senate Judiciary Committee

Clean STELA Bill Approved by Senate Judiciary Committee

Satellite dishWith provisions of the Satellite Television Extension and Localism Act (STELA) set to sunset at the end of this year, the Senate Judiciary Committee this week advanced a “clean” bill that essentially extends the current law for five years.  Senators Patrick Leahy (D-VT) and Chuck Grassley (R-IA), Chairman and Ranking Member of the Committee respectively, worked together on this reauthorization bill in hopes of swift passage. 

Chairman Leahy declared, “Satellite television legislation should never be partisan – it should be an opportunity for Democrats and Republicans to come together and demonstrate to the American people that we can act responsibly and prevent serious disruption to consumers.”

Similarly, Ranking Member Grassley stated at the introduction of the bill, “Many customers who rely on satellite service don’t have other options for receiving television service.  Reauthorizing this law is important so that the 1.5 million customers who are at risk of losing their satellite service come January will be able to retain access.”

This STELA approach differs from the path taken to date in the House, where the re-authorization has broadened into other communications law battles.  Thankfully, alterations to rules establishing the responsibility of pay-TV providers to carry local TV stations on their base platforms have not been accepted into the re-authorization process thus far.  NRB has been vocal in its concern that Congress not abandon the decades-old commitment to local television, particularly religious television. Indeed, Dr. Jerry A. Johnson, President & CEO of NRB, has declared, “Scuttling the local channel carriage responsibilities of cable and other pay-TV platforms would be a significant detriment to a number of Christian TV stations and the viewers who rely on them for spiritual guidance.”

Under regular order, STELA re-authorization legislation must pass through the Judiciary and Commerce Committees of both the House and Senate.

  • Read more from NRB on “Must Carry” rights here and here.
  • Learn more about the Senate Judiciary Committee’s action on this bill here.

By Aaron Mercer, Vice President of Government Relations

Published: June 27, 2014

Latest News

Registration for Proclaim 16 Is Now Open! Register Early and Save!

Registration for the world’s largest annual gathering of Christian media and ministry professionals is now open, and if you register between now and November 1, you can receive an Early Bird discounted rate.

NRB President Calls on Members to Urge Congress to #DefundPP

With Congress set to return from recess on September 8, NRB President & CEO Dr. Jerry A. Johnson is encouraging the association’s members to contact their representatives about defunding the Planned Parenthood Federation of America (PPFA) and to utilize their media platforms to urge others to do the same.

Salvation Army Eastern Territory Publishes New Magazine: 'SAConnects'

The Salvation Army’s Eastern Territorial Headquarters has released SAConnects, a new multimedia magazine that is replacing Good News!, Priority!, and Buenas Noticias!

Exhibit Space at Proclaim 16 Available Now! Reserve Yours Today!

Want to place your company or ministry in front of thousands of decision-makers in an ever-growing industry? Then consider exhibiting at Proclaim 16, the NRB International Christian Media Convention.

Dedication of The Coming King Sculpture Prayer Garden Set for Sept. 13

On September 13, The Coming King Foundation (TCKF) will dedicate its evangelistic Sculpture Prayer Garden in Kerrville, TX, which has been 14 years in the making.

Net Neutrality Court Battle Advances

The legal battle to halt the FCC’s most recent “Open Internet” order advanced in recent weeks with the filing of briefs before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit.

ERLC President Russell Moore Releases New Book: 'Onward'

Onward: Engaging the Culture Without Losing the Gospel, the latest book by ERLC President Dr. Russell Moore, was released on August 1.

Committee Expands Planned Parenthood Investigation

Leaders of the powerful House Energy & Commerce Committee recently announced an expansion of their investigation spurred by undercover videos that show key Planned Parenthood officials describing and negotiating the sale of aborted babies’ body parts.

‘Mission: Mongolia’ Campaign Far Exceeds Goal to Fund Three New FM Stations

NRB member organizations Reach Beyond, Far East Broadcasting Company (FEBC), and Moody Global Ministries combined their efforts last month and raised $311,519 to fund equipment to start radio stations in three major cities in Mongolia that do not have access to Christian radio.

Guidelines International Ministries Plants Legacy Radio Station in the Balkans

Guidelines International Ministries has planted a Legacy Radio Station in the Balkans, partnering with Media 7 Albania.

More News