By John Eggerton, Broadcasting & Cable Online, 12-17-19
Bills that would end the every-five-year renewal of the satellite compulsory license passed the House Tuesday in a package of funding bills, H.R. 1865, the Further Consolidated Appropriations Act, expected to be passed by the Senate later this week.
Those are the Television Viewer Protection Act and the Satellite Television 16 Community Protection and Promotion Act of 2019, two House bills appended to the larger appropriations bill after legislators on both sides of the aisle and in both houses agreed to that approach to renewing, or in this case not renewing, the STELAR Act, which expires at the end of December.
The provisions make the FCC mandate of good faith bargaining in retransmission consent negotiations permanent, sunset some aspects of the satellite compulsory license, while making the license for RVs, truckers, and short markets permanent for satellite operators delivering local TV station signals in all 212 markets. Dish already does, while AT&T’s DirecTV would have until May 31, 2020 to start serving the dozen or so smallest markets. The TVPA also “requires cable and satellite TV companies to disclose how much they will charge for their video services, including any extra fees.” » Read More