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Key Senate Committee Takes Up STELAR Hearing Today

- Cruz One of 26 Commerce Committee Members

The Senate Commerce Committee today is holding its second hearing this year on whether to let the Satellite TV Act expire as scheduled on Dec. 31 or renew it for another five years.  Texas Sen. Ted Cruz is one of 26 committee members slated to hear from a panel of TV industry executives, including Emily Barr, President/CEO of Graham Media Group which owns KPRC-TV Houston and KSAT-TV San Antonio.

Originally intended as a temporary fix, it’s become a 30-year-old policy zombie that has outlived its natural purpose after achieving its goals.

The satellite TV companies have grown into multi-billion-dollar behemoths providing real competition to the cable TV industry, and they have for many years now had the technology that allows the satellite TV companies to deliver local broadcast stations’ signals to their subscribers. 

The latter issue hits close to home for DirecTV customers in the Victoria and San Angelo markets where the company still refuses to carry local TV stations despite promising to the FCC several years ago that it would do so.

They’re not alone; the company continues to neglect customers in 10 other markets across the country. According to official statements from the committee, Barr and other witnesses will address the effectiveness of STELAR’s good faith requirement and “other targeted video marketplace reforms Congress should consider in the next STELAR reauthorization.”

That language indicates the Pay-TV industry remains steadfast in retaining the law and possibly amending it to put local Television broadcasters at a competitive disadvantage.

The hearing is set for 10AM Eastern.


Questions? Contact TAB’s Oscar Rodriguez or call (512) 322-9944.

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