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House Judiciary to Mark Up 'Clean' STELA July 10

The House Judiciary Committee has scheduled a July 10 markup for a satellite television reauthorization bill that mirrors a "clean" version proposed in the Senate Judiciary that does not have video reforms being pushed by cable operators and opposed by broadcasters.

A House Energy & Commerce Committee version of the bill included provisions disallowing some coordinated retrans negotiations and getting rid of the ban on integrated cable set-tops, but the Judiciary draft being teed up for markup—which means amendments could be added—at least at this stage is a simple five-year renewal of the compulsory license that allows importation of distant network affiliated TV station signals—which affects about 1.5 million subs without in-market access to a comparable affiliate.

If it stayed that way, it would be a big victory for broadcasters, who fought the additional provisions in the House Energy & Commerce Version.

The Senate Judiciary version of a new Satellite Television Extension and Localism Act (STELA) bill, which has been rechristened Satellite Television Access Reauthorization Act of 2014 (STARA), passed out of the Judiciary Committee last month without any additional video reforms.

STELA has to be renewed by the end of the year or it expires, but the Senate Commerce Committee also has a say in the final bill, which must ultimately be reconciled with the House E&C Committee and Judiciary versions.