It's pro football season, which means legislators will once again try to ensure that their constituents in pay TV markets where out-of-state TV stations are retransmitted can get an in-state version for that all-important local news — and perhaps even more important local NFL team.
Some TV markets cross state lines, which means that the designated local station for a market — and the one cable and satellite operators are most likely retransmitting per the FCC's must-carry/retransmission consent rules — is not in the same state as some viewers in that market.
Such is the case for 13 counties representing almost a half-million people in Wisconsin that are assigned to stations in Minnesota and Michigan.
Also: Capitol Hill Is Ready for Some Football
Facing the prospect of once again getting Detroit Lions or Minnesota Vikings games but not their beloved Green Bay Packers, football watchers in those counties have a champion in Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.), who has reintroduced her Go Pack Go Act.
The bill requires cable and satellite providers to give their Wisconsin subscribers access to programming on Wisconsin stations so that they can get their local news and their Packers fix. ■
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Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.