Sources: STELAR Reauthorization Pulled From Markup

According to multiple sources, the STAR Act stellar reauthorization bill is being pulled from today's (Nov. 13) markup in the Senate Commerce Committee.

Broadcasters oppose reauthorization, while MVPDs support it.

STELAR creates the compulsory license that allows satellite operators to import distant TV network affiliate signals to markets without them. It also mandates good faith negotiations in retransmission consent.

Related: Senate Takes Long Look at STELAR

Sen. Roger Wicker (R-Miss.), who chairs the committee, had scheduled consideration of his bill simply reauthorizing the law for five more years.

MVPDs would prefer the bill also include some retrans reforms--mandatory arbitration, no blackouts--but the bottom line is they want reauthorization.

The House is scheduled to mark up its version of reauthorization Nov. 14.

Given that the license expires at the end of the year, pulling it from consideration could mean there were not enough votes for approval in the committee.

At press time, the committee had just released a revised markup agenda, and the STAR bill had been removed. 

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.