House looks to reconcile STELA, STAVRA satellite bills, keep language on CableCard elimination

Leaders for the House Energy & Commerce committee are set to introduce a bipartisan compromise that blends the House's version of the Satellite Television Extension and Localism Act (STELA) with the Senate's parallel Satellite Television Access and Viewer Rights Act (STAVRA).

According to Multichannel News' John Eggerton, who has been closely tracking the progress of the two bills, the new version of STELA would reflect input from the Senate Commerce Committee.

The compromise bill would require broadcasters to unwind jointly negotiated retransmission deals with pay-TV operators--a practice banned by the FCC. Broadcasters would have six months to execute this.

The elimination of the Federal Communication Commission's set-top security integration ban (aka CableCARD law) would also be kept intact.

The main purpose of the bill is to renew the ability of satellite operators to pipe in broadcast signals from distant affiliate stations to rural markets that are unable to receive a broadcast signal from a particular network.

For more:
- read this Multichannel News story

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