New legislation introduced in Congress this week calls for
dramatic changes to the retransmission consent
Representatives from California, Anna Eshoo and Zoe Lofgren,
have introduced the Video Consumers Have Options in Choosing
Entertainment Act (H.R. 3719), which would give the FCC authority
to prevent broadcast blackouts during retrans disputes. The
bill would also attempt to prohibit a broadcaster from bundling
carriage with affiliated cable networks.
Representative Steve Scalise (R-LA) has also reintroduced
legislation (H.R. 3720) that would overhaul retransmission consent
rules. Representative Scalise¹s bill would remove fundamental
TV carriage, retransmission consent, and copyright laws critical to
local broadcast service, including repealing the cable compulsory
copyright license and the retransmission consent and must carry
laws, and relax the media ownership laws. These attempts have
not yet gained any traction in Congress, but they will facilitate
considerable debate next year within the television industry.
The Association opposes new legislation that would undermine the
retransmission consent, must carry, and local compulsory copyright
laws. We will provide you with more detailed information in
the days ahead.