Washington, D.C. May 8, 2014– Following today’s passage of the Satellite Television Extension and Localism Act (STELA) markup by the House Energy & Commerce Committee today, the American Television Alliance released the following statement:
We applaud Chairmen Upton, Walden and Ranking Members Waxman, Eshoo and the members of the Committee for their work on this legislation. The STELA bill passed by the Committee is an improvement on current law and addresses some of the concerns that ATVA has voiced.
The prohibition of joint retrans negotiations is a positive development for consumers. Runaway retrans fees are piling up on consumers doorsteps and this action can help alleviate one source of this ever growing problem. Collusion should not be allowed and the Committee’s actions will prevent this. The elimination of “sweeps weeks” protection removes one of the many government protections that broadcasters have that skew the marketplace.
We encourage the Committee to continue to explore and address the facts in the retransmission consent regime, remove more of the broadcasters’ government-granted marketplace advantages and address them more comprehensively in the Communications Act update.