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Dish, DirecTV Back STELA Draft

Dish and DirecTV compete fiercely for subs, but they are together in their support for reauthorizing the Satellite Television Extension and Localism Act (STELA) draft issued last week by the Republican leadership of the House Communications Subcommittee.

Among other things, the draft would limit coordinated retransmission consent negotiations in some circumstances.

"We support this draft as an important first step in the reauthorization of STELA," the companies said in a combined statement. "Significantly, it ensures continuity of service to more than 1.5 million distant-signal customers who would, otherwise, lose service in December. It also addresses one of the most egregious forms of retransmission consent abuse—joint negotiating agreements among broadcasters."

The House Communications Subcommittee is holding a hearing on the draft of the bill March 12. Mike Palkovic, EVP of DirecTV, is scheduled to testify, along with representatives from the cable and broadcasting industries, public advocates, and Tivo.