Thanks to our TV members who gave an all-out effort to appeal to Senator Gary Peters asking him to let STELAR expire.
Yesterday (11/14), the Senate Commerce Committee was scheduled to mark-up a bill offered by Senator Roger Wicker (R-MS) that would reauthorize the Satellite Television Extension and Localism Act (STELAR) for five years. NAB reports that due in part to your activism, Senator Wicker, under pressure from other Senators, pulled the bill because of lack of support from his colleagues. The committee is continuing discussions about how to move forward before the end of the year.
Meanwhile, the House of Representatives, Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Telecommunications, advanced by a voice vote a bill, The Television Viewer Protection Act, sponsored by subcommittee Chair Mike Doyle (D-PA). The bill would reauthorize the expiring provisions of STELAR within its jurisdiction for five years. This also contains policy riders requiring: (1) truth-in-billing from video, phone and internet companies; and (2) broadcasters to negotiate with a joint cable buying group for retransmission consent. Broadcasters oppose this legislation. Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle committed to working together to try to find consensus in advance of full committee consideration, possibly next week. MAB will keep you informed of the progress. We are working closely with the NAB as we have Congressman Fred Upton (R-4), Congresswoman Debbie Dingell (R-12) and Congressman Tim Walberg (R-7) on the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Telecommunications and Senator Gary Peters (D-14) is on the Senate Commerce Committee.
We know this is coming at a very busy time for our television members. We understand that many of you are budgeting right now. We will still need your participation to see that STELAR is allowed to sunset. MAB will make communicating with your Congressmen/woman and Senator as easy as possible.