HOME > NEWSROOM > ARTICLES > Clean STELA Bill Introduced by Senate Judiciary Leaders

Clean STELA Bill Introduced by Senate Judiciary Leaders

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

Senator Leahy stated, “My focus is on the consumers who stand to lose access to broadcast television content in the event that Congress is unable to pass a bill by the end of the year. My bipartisan bill will ensure that those rural viewers are not left in the dark come December 31.” Similarly, Senator Grassley added, “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 House and Senate.

  • Read more from NRB on “Must Carry” rights here and here.
  • Find more from Senators Leahy and Grassley on STELA here.

By Aaron Mercer, Vice President of Government Relations

Published: June 13, 2014

Latest News

Former Ambassador to the United Nations John Bolton to Speak at NRB15

John R. Bolton, former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, is scheduled to speak on Monday, February 23, 2015, at a special event during the NRB 2015 International Christian Media Convention in Nashville, TN.

Prime Minister Netanyahu to Address Congress in March

A day after President Barack Obama used his State of the Union address to issue a veto threat against new sanctions on Iran, Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-OH) announced that...

Subpoena Scuffle in House Committee

Last week the House Energy & Commerce Committee started off with a scuffle over the organizational rules of the panel.

Proposed to Defeat Islamist ‘Global Jihad’

On Friday January 16th, the Center for Security Policy, an NRB associate member, held a panel event on Islamist extremism that was nationally televised by C-SPAN.

Protecting Life: How to Get the Media Message Right for This Generation

Unborn lives hang in the balance as the battle of competing values rages.

One of Many Reasons to Attend NRB15: Networking!

When it comes to strategic networking opportunities for Christian media and ministry professionals, NRB’s International Christian Media Convention is a frontrunner.

Interview Opportunities at NRB15

Attention all NRB Members, Convention Exhibitors, and Convention Sponsors!

Prepare for NRB15 with the Free Mobile-Friendly ‘My Show’ Planner

This year’s NRB International Christian Media Convention has nearly 200 exhibitors to visit. Maximize your time on the Exhibit Floor by taking a few moments now to create your My Show Planner.

Post Your Job Openings, Resumes in Front of Thousands at NRB15!

Does your organization have openings that need to be filled? Do you want more candidates to apply for a key position?

New FCC Closed Captioning Laws to Focus on Quality

The FCC issued its first set of closed captioning requirements over sixteen years ago in order to provide telecommunications for the deaf and hard of hearing.

More News