Senate Slates Video Marketplace Hearing

The Senate Commerce Committee has scheduled a hearing on the TV and video marketplace for June 5, confirming a report in Multichannel News last week.

The hearing is described as examining "how television programming and the delivery of video content have evolved over the past decade. Witnesses will discuss how new entrants in the video marketplace and the development of digital programming and streaming services have impacted consumer viewing habits and preferences." It will also look at "existing laws governing the video marketplace and their role in fostering access to content and promoting competition, localism, and diversity of viewpoints."

That is expected to include the STELAR Act, which provides for a distant signal compulsory license and must be renewed or sunset by year's end.

The witnesses for the hearing are Michael Powell, president, NCTA-The Internet & Television Association; Gordon Smith, president of the National Association of Broadcasters; Craig Aaron, president of Free Press, and David Kenny, CEO of Nielsen.

Also as reported last week, the House Communications Subcommittee will hold a hearing the day before, specifically on STELAR.

“Too often the conversation in Washington surrounding satellite reauthorization has focused on what is good for companies," said House Energy & Commerce Committee chair Frank Pallone (D-N.J.) and Subcommittee chair Mike Doyle (D-Pa.) in a joint statement. "As Congress revisits this issue, we will look at how consumers are affected and what can be done to improve their choices and viewing experience."

John Eggerton

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.