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Senate passes STELA

Discussion in 'Legislative and Regulatory Issues' started by FTA Michael, Mar 11, 2010.

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  1. FTA Michael

    FTA Michael Hall Of Fame

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    Broadcasting & Cable's John Eggerton reports that the Senate passed STELA on Wednesday. It's a five-year extension of satellite's umbrella license to sell distant signals under certain circumstances. Next step is the House, but the Senate was seen as the tougher chamber because of the recent hiccups in getting a temporary extension passed.

    "Among the changes to the new bill are allowing DISH back into the distant-signal business in exchange for delivering local signals to the couple dozen or so that had lacked them because they were too small to make it economical to serve them."

    And although you won't find it in that article, Eggerton told me separately that STELA includes Superstation reauthorization. So we Dish subs have hope! :D
     
  2. curt8403

    curt8403 Hall Of Fame

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  3. FTA Michael

    FTA Michael Hall Of Fame

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    Thanks for the link! Section 2 extends the Superstations (among others) until the end of 2014.
     
  4. James Long

    James Long Ready for Uplink! Staff Member Super Moderator DBSTalk Club

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    S.2764 as linked doesn't look too much different on the surface than the 2004 version ... some things that I noticed ...
    A lot of sensible changes from the 2004 error of analog vs digital. Analog is being removed and the definition is moving (appropriately) to "high definition".

    (B) RULES FOR OTHER SUBSCRIBERS- A subscriber of a satellite carrier, other than a subscriber to whom subparagraph (A) applies, who was lawfully receiving the distant signal of a network station on the day before the date of enactment of the Satellite Television Extension and Localism Act of 2009 may continue to receive such distant signal until such subscriber chooses to no longer receive such distant signal from such carrier, whether or not such subscriber elects to subscribe to local signals.’;​
    This was in the 2004 law as well. If you have distants when this law takes effect you can keep them ... if not you will lose your distants when a local signal is available. (The 2004 law made it where one does not qualify for a distant for a network that has a station in their local market. Even if the station isn't carried. The Significantly Viewed stations are allowed, if one subscribes to locals in their own market.)

    (iii) TIME-SHIFTING PROHIBITED- In a case in which the satellite carrier makes available to an eligible subscriber under this subparagraph the signal of a local network station pursuant to section 338, the carrier may only provide the distant signal of a station affiliated with the same network to that subscriber if, in the case of any local market in the 48 contiguous States of the United States, the distant signal is the secondary transmission of a station whose prime time network programming is generally broadcast simultaneously with, or later than, the prime time network programming of the affiliate of the same network in the local market.​
    This would prohibit carriage of a New York network station in California, but California network stations could be carried anywhere.

    Also:
    Noncommercial educational television stations must be carried in HD if any station in that market is carried in HD. Compliance is 50% of HD markets by the end of 2010 and 100% of HD markets by the end of 2011. (Carriage of the market in HD is not required, but if a market is in HD the noncomm stations must be carried in HD.) New markets MUST have their noncomm stations included immediately.

    What's missing ... the clauses that allow DISH to start serving distants again.
    Is "S.2764" the right bill? Even going back to 3/10/2010 I don't see it passing the Senate.
    http://senate.gov/legislative/LIS/roll_call_lists/vote_menu_111_2.htm
    S.2764 doesn't even have the co-author mentioned in the news article.
    S.1670 is Leahy's bill ...
    http://www.govtrack.us/congress/billtext.xpd?bill=s111-1670

    Without seeing a senate vote that matches what Broadcasting and Cable claimed I wonder what is going on. Any better links?
     
  5. runner861

    runner861 Icon

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    (iii) TIME-SHIFTING PROHIBITED- In a case in which the satellite carrier makes available to an eligible subscriber under this subparagraph the signal of a local network station pursuant to section 338, the carrier may only provide the distant signal of a station affiliated with the same network to that subscriber if, in the case of any local market in the 48 contiguous States of the United States, the distant signal is the secondary transmission of a station whose prime time network programming is generally broadcast simultaneously with, or later than, the prime time network programming of the affiliate of the same network in the local market.


    The time-shifting prohibition appears to be only prohibiting the earlier station when a distant network is provided into a market that already has a local station affiliated with the same network. As worded, it would not include a network station provided to a short market (a market that lacked that same network as a local).

    When would a distant network station be provided to a viewer in a market where there already is a local of the same network? I can only think of two situations--either the viewer is a grandfathered viewer, or the viewer has a waiver.

    I would be interested to hear anyone else's opinion. I know that AAD thinks that they cannot provide an earlier HD network (i.e. Chicago HD to California), but I am not aware that this section has ever been litigated. I feel that, after a careful reading, a judge will agree that an earlier distant can be provided to a market that lacks that same network affiliate.
     
  6. FTA Michael

    FTA Michael Hall Of Fame

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