STELA Compromise to Be Introduced in House

House Energy & Commerce leadership Tuesday will introduce a bipartisan compromise version of the STELA Reauthorization (STELAR) Act that it says reflects bipartisan input from the Senate Commerce Committee, say sources familiar with the bill and a copy obtained by Multichannel News.It includes some retrans-related provisions that likely won't sit well with broadcasters.

It combines elements of a House-passed bill and the STAVRA version that passed out of the Senate Commerce Committee in September, including retaining the elimination of the set-top integration ban — after one year — and giving broadcasters an extra six months to unwind joint sales agreements per an FCC decision earlier this year as well as preventing coordinated retrans among noncommonly owned same-market TV stations.

According to a committee source speaking on background, House E&C Chairman Fred Upton (R-Mich.), ranking member Henry Waxman (D-Calif.), Communications subcommittee Chairman Greg Walden (R-Ore.) and ranking member Anna Eshoo (D-Calif.) together will introduce the new version of the bill that reauthorizes the compulsory satellite license to that 1.5 million people can continue to receive distant network TV station signals.

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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.