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TAB Advocates on Key Issues with Texans in Congress

- Performance Tax, Big Tech Dominate DC Agenda

A TAB delegation of Texas Radio and TV broadcasters met with key members of Congress last week to underscore major policy concerns and competitive challenges for the industry.

Proposals to impose a new Performance Tax on Radio stations and unfair competition from Big Tech firms against TV and Radio topped the agenda.

Texas leads the country in the number of co-sponsors of HConRes 33, The Local Radio Freedom Act, which opposes forcing Radio broadcasters to pay a new performance royalty as presented in separate legislation heard last month in the House Judiciary Committee.

The Local Radio Freedom Act has attracted the support of 210 members of the House, just eight short of the majority needed to stop the performance royalty from advancing.

Unchecked competition from tech giants figured prominently in all legislative discussions, as lawmakers shared the industry’s alarm at the lightning speed at which Big Tech is siphoning local advertising revenues that sustain local journalism from TV, Radio and newspapers.

The Journalism Competition and Preservation Act, S 673 and HR 1735, would create a temporary anti-trust exemption to allow publishers such as broadcasters and newspapers to engage in group discussions with individual tech giants to negotiate terms of use for the content local publishers produce.

While the congressional calendar has a limited number of opportunities to advance legislation during this election year, TAB, NAB and key congressional leaders are working to ensure the JCPA is one measure that receives priority for calendar time.

TAB is arranging additional, in-district meetings with Texas members of Congress and their local broadcasters this spring to continue elevating these concerns before a potential vote.

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

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