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

Mission Accomplished: Christians in Solidarity with Israel

“It feels like we are getting a great big hug!” That’s what the Israeli leadership said to us when we visited them last week.

NRB President & CEO Dr. Jerry A. Johnson to Participate in Values Voter Summit 2014

Dr. Jerry A. Johnson, President & CEO of NRB, will lead a powerful dialogue about recent attacks to our freedoms of religion and speech during next month’s Values Voter Summit in Washington, DC.

Hope for Hurting Hearts Continues to Touch Lives and Win Awards

Hope for Hurting Hearts, a documentary film produced by Harvest Ministries with Greg Laurie, recently added another distinction to its running list of awards and accolades – this time for Best Editing from the Pan Pacific Film Festival.

Pure Flix's God's Not Dead Tops Home Video Sales Charts

God’s Not Dead, a film from NRB member Pure Flix Entertainment, debuted earlier this month at No. 1 on the Nielsen Christian Videos sales chart and No. 2 on the Nielsen VideoScan First Alert sales chart, which tracks overall Blu-ray and DVD combined sales.

Do You Want to Highlight Your Organization in NRB Today - For Free?

We are soliciting descriptions about NRB members to feature in our weekly e-newsletter, NRB Today, and on the NRB website. If you are a member of NRB and are interested in being featured ...

NRBMLC Files Comments to DOJ on ASCAP and BMI Consent Decrees

The NRB Music License Committee (NRBMLC) filed comments with the U.S. Department of Justice last week in response to its plans to review the “consent decrees” that govern how the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP) and Broadcast Music, Inc. (BMI) license songs for public performance in the United States.

National Radio Day: A Look Back at the Early Days of Christian Broadcasting

When radio emerged as a public medium in the early 1920s, preachers were fascinated but cautious.

Christian Advocacy Group Protests Offensive Cartoon Network Program

The Christian Film & Television Commission® (CFTVC), an advocacy group promoting quality Christian entertainment, is organizing a protest against Black Jesus, the Cartoon Network’s new controversial program.

CBN’s Superbook Partners with Newton Media

Newton Media has been selected to partner with CBN’s Superbook to brand market their award-winning animated Bible series and build their continuity program via DRTV, barter syndication, and digital platforms.

4 FEBC Volunteers Martyred in Ukraine

Four young FEBC volunteers who were recently captured by pro-Russian separatists in Eastern Ukraine were brutally beaten to death simply for being Christians, according to a report from the organization last week.

More News