Walden Releases First Draft of STELA Reauthorization

March 6, 2014

WASHINGTON, DC – House Communications and Technology Subcommittee Chairman Greg Walden (R-OR) today released the first discussion draft of legislation to reauthorize the Satellite Television Extension and Localism Act (STELA), which contains provisions that will expire on December 31, 2014. The subcommittee will discuss the draft legislation at a hearing next Wednesday, March 12, 2014.

“This draft was developed to ensure continued local access for satellite television consumers while addressing a number of discrete issues raised over the course of our year-long review of this law and its benefits to consumers,” said Walden. “Our video marketplace demands rules that reflect the modern communications marketplace, and I look forward to working with my colleagues to address those issues in our work to update the Communications Act. As we consider those larger issues, however, we must not lose sight of the looming year-end deadline for action on STELA and the 1.5 million households whose satellite television service would suffer if we fail to act. I look forward to working with members of the subcommittee as we continue this thoughtful process and firmly believe we can get this across the finish line before the clock expires on many of STELA’s provision at the end of the year.”

Background on Draft Legislation

The draft legislation, which would reauthorize the law for five years, includes:

  • Limitations on joint retransmission consent negotiations in conjunction with limitations on FCC action on broadcaster shared services arrangements;
  • The elimination of the “sweeps” week prohibition on signal changes; and
  • The elimination of the set-top box integration ban.

To read a copy of the discussion draft, click here.

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