STELA to Broaden Into Larger TV Battle?

A House panel opened proceedings on what is likely to be a long and contentious fight over current television law. With provisions of the Satellite Television Extension and Localism Act (STELA) set to sunset next year, the Communications and Technology Subcommittee of the House Energy & Commerce Committee held a “Satellite Video 101” hearing this week. This was intended by Chairman Greg Walden (R-OR) to be an educational first step at reviewing how and whether to reauthorize this legislation governing satellite carriage of broadcast television. 

During testimony by panelists from the FCC, DISH, the National Association of Broadcasters, the Association of Public Television Stations, and the Motion Picture Association of America, it soon became apparent that a number of complex questions and conflicting opinions lay near under the surface. Some Committee members suggested simply changing the dates in the law to enact a simple reauthorization, while others appeared interested in a broader overhaul of communications law beyond simply satellite television. 

Must Carry law was raised briefly in this session and may well be elevated in future hearings on this subject. NRB will continue to be vigilant on behalf of Must Carry rights for NRB TV Members.

By Aaron Mercer, Vice President Government Relations


Published: February 15, 2013