Congressman Steve Scalise and Congresswoman Anna Eshoo Reach Deal to Fix Broken Retransmission Consent Laws

WASHINGTON, DC – The American Television Alliance today commended Congressman Steve Scalise (R-LA) and Congresswoman Eshoo (D-CA) for their leadership to advance the debate on reforming the antiquated laws that govern the video marketplace.  Both the House and Senate this week will host hearings to review laws governing the video marketplace. 

As bipartisan momentum continues to build for reforming outdated video laws and as Congress reviews the Satellite Television Extension and Localism Act (STELAR), independent programmers RIDE TV, MAVTV, REVOLT, and Cinémoi recently joined ATVA and are calling on Congress to end the TV blackout and runaway retrans fee crisis. 

As many as 870,000 satellite subscribers, many in the most rural areas of the country, will lose access to broadcast channels if Congress fails to reauthorize STELAR.   ATVA believes Congress should not only re-authorize STELAR, but also modernize the retransmission consent rules, which currently favor broadcasters at the expense of consumers and competition.  ATVA opposes blackouts whether generated by broadcasters or the inaction of Congress.   

“This is the latest sign that bipartisan momentum is growing to fix our broken retransmission consent system.  The American Television Alliance commends Congressman Steve Scalise and Congresswoman Anna Eshoo for reaching a bipartisan agreement to reform and update America’s broken and outdated video laws,” said Trent Duffy, ATVA spokesman.  We live in an instant, on-demand digital world.  Consumers have unparalleled choice and competition for video content. ATVA looks forward to working with Congressman Scalise and Congresswoman Eshoo and the many members of Congress on both sides of the aisle to pass pro-consumer video marketplace reform.”

TV Blackout Crisis: 2017 Breaks Blackout Record as Broadcasters Rake in Billions from Viewers

Since 2010, millions of Americans have seen dark screens instead of watching their favorite channels due to more than 1,000 broadcaster-initiated blackouts.  With 213 blackouts, 2017 was the worst year for TV blackouts on record.

  • 62 blackouts in 2019
  • 165 blackouts in 2018
  • 213 blackouts in 2017
  • 104 blackouts in 2016
  • 193 blackouts in 2015
  • 94 blackouts in 2014
  • 119 blackouts in 2013
  • 90 blackouts in 2012
  • 42 blackouts in 2011
  • 8 blackouts in 2010

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The American Television Alliance (ATVA) brings together an unprecedented coalition of consumer groups, cable, satellite, telephone companies, and independent programmers to raise awareness about the risk TV viewers face as broadcasters increasingly threaten service disruptions that would deny viewers access to the programs they and their families enjoy.


For more information about ATVA, visit our website. Follow us on Twitter @ATVAlliance.