HOME > NEWSROOM > ARTICLES > House Attention to Low-Power, Satellite Television Legislation

House Attention to Low-Power, Satellite Television Legislation

NRB members with television ministries may be particularly interested in two happenings this week in the House of Representatives. 

On Thursday, the Communications Subcommittee of the House Energy & Commerce Committee held a hearing highlighting the precarious situation of numerous low-power television (LPTV) stations in light of the upcoming spectrum auction. Disagreement was evident on the panel on how best to address this subject. However, NRB has repeatedly called on the FCC to purposefully protect programming choices for Americans, specifically the religious and family programming that NRB TV Members provide free of charge to local communities. Indeed, NRB has specifically highlighted the “no-alter” clause in the Spectrum Act for LPTV. Congress stated in the law, “Nothing in this subsection shall be construed to alter the spectrum usage rights of low-power television stations.”

“A number of LPTV stations that provide important religious and family programming free of charge to local communities may potentially be at risk in the upcoming spectrum auction,” said Dr. Jerry A. Johnson, President & CEO of NRB, in response to this week’s hearing. “I urge Congress to ascertain what steps the FCC will be taking to keep low-power stations from simply being forced off the air.”

NRB continues to urge a process that fairly honors the services and investments of Christian television broadcasters in their local communities. Available online are NRB’s formal comment on the spectrum auction and an additional letter filed earlier this year with the FCC specifically on LPTV.

In addition, earlier in the week, the House of Representatives approved a reauthorization of the Satellite Television Extension and Localism Act (STELA), which is set to sunset this year unless Congress acts. Thankfully, the House bill passed without alterations to rules establishing the responsibility of pay-TV providers to carry local TV stations on their base platforms. NRB has been vocal in its concern that Congress not abandon the decades-old commitment to “Must Carry” rules for local television, particularly religious television. Indeed, Dr. Johnson 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.”

By Aaron Mercer, Vice President of Government Relations

Published: July 25, 2014

Latest News

Congressional Leadership Updates

Last week, Members of Congress returned to Washington for the first time since the momentous mid-term elections on November 4.

Abedini Spotlighted as Iran Negotiations Continue

With nuclear negotiations between Iran and the United States approaching their November 24 deadline, Jay Sekulow, Chief Counsel of the American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ)...

Congressman Dingell to Receive Medal of Freedom

Congressman John Dingell (D-MI), the longest serving Member of Congress in U.S. history and a former Chairman of the powerful House Energy & Commerce Committee, will be awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom at the White House on Monday.

New STELA Bill Approved by Congress

With provisions of the Satellite Television Extension and Localism Act (STELA) set to sunset at the end of this year, the Congress this week introduced a new version of a bill to extend that law for another five years and then fast-tracked its approval.

Passes to the NRB 2015 Exposition Are Free; Register Today!

The NRB Exposition is the largest marketplace dedicated to Christian media professionals. And in case you haven’t heard yet, there is no charge for entering the Exhibit Hall at the NRB 2015 International Christian Media Convention in Nashville, TN.

Early Bird Rates for NRB15 Registration Extended to Nov. 30

Due to popular demand, the Early Bird discounted rate for the NRB 2015 International Christian Media Convention has been extended through Sunday, November 30, 2014.

NRB Against Internet Power Grab

President Barack Obama released a statement this week urging the FCC to “implement the strongest possible rules to protect net neutrality.”

North Korea Releases American Missionary

After over two years of detention, the communist regime in North Korea released Kenneth Bae, an American missionary, along with another U.S. citizen, Matthew Todd Miller.

March for Life Wants Pastors to Come to Washington

Jeanne Monahan, President of the March for Life Education and Defense Fund, has reached out to pastors nationwide inviting them to come with members of their congregations to Washington, DC, in January for the annual pro-life march.

Pew Report Shows Growing Use of Online Media by Voters

A survey released by the Pew Research Center revealed that Americans are relying more and more on mobile phones and social media for learning election news and information.

More News