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

Senator Roy Blunt Receives NRB Faith & Freedom Award

At its annual Capitol Hill Media Summit this week, NRB presented the 2015 Faith & Freedom Award to Senator Roy Blunt (R-MO).

Commissioner Pai Addresses NRB President’s Council

FCC Commissioner Ajit Pai addressed the NRB President’s Council at its annual Capitol Hill Media Summit this week.

Leading Senator Pushes Against FCC Exclusivity Plan

Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY), who may well become the Senate Democrat Leader in the next Congress, sent a letter to FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler last week urging him to reverse course on a move to eliminate network non­duplication and syndication exclusivity rules.

Focus on the Family’s 'Plugged In' Switches to Daily Format

Focus on the Family’s Plugged In feature, anchored by veteran culture analyst Bob Waliszewski, has switched to a daily minute-long format, expanding from two days to every weekday.

'The Book' Launches on 300+ Radio Outlets Nationwide

The Book, a new feature program from Museum of the Bible, launched this week on a record number of stations, reaching a million listeners in 42 states, plus the District of Columbia and Guam.

Invest in the Future of Christian Media and Your Organization! Sponsor iNRB!

For those who want to invest in and gain exposure in front of the next generation of Christian media professionals, there are unique opportunities available through the intercollegiate arm of NRB.

Millions Unite for The Day of Prayer for the Peace of Jerusalem

Millions of Christians united globally for The Day of Prayer for the Peace of Jerusalem (DPPJ) this past Sunday, including the hundreds gathered in the historic Christ Church in the Old City of Jerusalem

Newton Media Celebrates 20th Anniversary

Founded in 1995 by Steve Newton, who desired to provide better media service for clients in both the faith-based and DRTV space, Newton Media has grown significantly over the years with offices now in Chesapeake, VA; Dallas, TX; and Cave Creek, AZ.

Constitutionality of Internet Authority Transfer Questioned

Four key Members of Congress are asking questions about the constitutionality of the Obama Administration’s plan to transition Internet oversight authority to a private stakeholder group.

Librarian of Congress Exits

Late last week, Librarian of Congress James H. Billington made a surprise announcement that he intended to resign his post effective September 30 rather than at the end of the year, as he had declared in June.

More News