Broadcasters force further dilution of STAVRA

The TV broadcast industry has persuaded the Senate Commerce Committee to strip upcoming satellite-TV legislation beyond the earlier-reported extraction of the Local Choice provision.

The latest version of the Satellite Television Access and Viewer Rights Act (STAVRA), which was circulated late Friday, does not include an earlier-featured provision that would encourage the FCC to stop broadcasters from blocking their online content from MSOs during retransmission disputes.

Earlier, Local Choice, the provision that would end broadcast retransmission as we know it, stripping broadcast stations out of the cable bundle, was removed from STAVRA.

According to the National Journal, Senate Commerce Committee members backing Local Choice were "forced to retreat" after their previous version came under attack from broadcasters, including African-American cable network Bounce TV.

The Commerce Committee is under pressure to pass STAVRA by the end of the year, and any protracted battle with broadcasters and their lobbyists could undermine that goal.

For more
- read this National Journal story
- read this Multichannel News story

Related links:
The inside story on how Local Choice got pulled from STAVRA
Moonves to stations: Get more retrans money out of pay-TV operators or else
Local Choice pulled from Senate bill

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