Several provisions of the Satellite Television Extension and Localism Act (STELA) are set to expire on
The text of the letter is below:
As you know, key provisions of the Satellite Television Extension and Localism Act (STELA) are set to expire on
The pending STELA reauthorization offers the Committee a chance to consider whether present law appropriately protects and promotes a video market that is responsive to consumer demands and expectations. Various stakeholders already have identified a number of issues that the Committee could consider as part of the reauthorization of the Communications Act elements of STELA. These issues implicate both traditional entities that provide video services, as well as possible future entrants into the video marketplace.
In light of the importance of the STELA reauthorization and video policy generally, the Committee would like to solicit your input on the scope and impact of the reauthorization legislation. We seek your response to the following questions in order to help the Committee approach its work in a careful and deliberate manner. We ask that your responses be precise and specific. To the extent your responses contain non-public, confidential, or competitively sensitive information, please mark them accordingly.
If you have any questions, please contact
We would request that you submit your response to these questions to the Committee in electronic form no later than
(2) Members of the Committee have heard from constituents who are unable to watch in-state broadcast TV programming. Under Section 614(h) of the Communications Act, the
(3) One of the expiring provisions in STELA is the obligation under Section 325(b) of the Communications Act for broadcast television stations and multichannel video programming distributors (MVPDs) to negotiate retransmission consent agreements "in good faith." Should the
(4) As part of STELA,
(5) Are there other technical issues in STELA that have arisen since its passage in 2010 that should be addressed in the current reauthorization?
General Video Policy Issues:
(1) Some have suggested that
(B) Please comment on the following possible reforms that have been suggested by various parties:
(i) Providing the
(ii) Prohibiting joint retransmission consent negotiations for multiple TV stations at the same time.
(iii) Mandating refunds for consumers in the case of a programming blackout (and apportioning the ultimate responsibility for the cost of such refunds).
(iv) Prohibiting a broadcast television station from blocking access to its online content, that is otherwise freely available to other Internet users, for an MVPD's subscribers while it is engaged in a retransmission consent negotiation with that MVPD.
(v) Eliminating the "sweeps" exception that prevents MVPDs from removing broadcast TV channels during a sweeps period, or alternatively extending that exception to prevent broadcasters from withholding their signals or certain programming carried on such signals under certain circumstances.
(vi) Prohibiting retransmission consent agreements that are conditioned on the carriage by an MVPD of non-broadcast programming or non-broadcast channels of programming affiliated with the broadcast license holder.
(4) Section 623 of the Act allows rate regulation of cable systems unless the
(8) With consumers increasingly watching video content online, should
(9) The Consumer Choice in Online Video Act, S. 1680, is one approach to fostering a consumer-centric online video marketplace. Are there elements of that bill that should be considered in conjunction with the STELA reauthorization?
(10) Would additional competition for broadband and consumer video services be facilitated by extending current pole attachment rights to broadband service providers that are not also traditional telecommunications or cable providers?
(11) Would additional competition for broadband and consumer video services be facilitated by extending a broadcaster's carriage rights for a period of time if they relinquish their spectrum license as part of the
(12) Are there other video policy issues that the
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