New Bills in Congress Propose Dramatic Changes to Retransmission Consent Regime

New legislation introduced in Congress this week calls for dramatic changes to the retransmission consent model.  

Representatives from California, Anna Eshoo and Zoe Lofgren, have introduced the Video Consumers Have Options in Choosing Entertainment Act (H.R. 3719), which would give the FCC authority to prevent broadcast blackouts during retrans disputes.  The bill would also attempt to prohibit a broadcaster from bundling carriage with affiliated cable networks. 

Representative Steve Scalise (R-LA) has also reintroduced legislation (H.R. 3720) that would overhaul retransmission consent rules.  Representative Scalise¹s bill would remove fundamental TV carriage, retransmission consent, and copyright laws critical to local broadcast service, including repealing the cable compulsory copyright license and the retransmission consent and must carry laws, and relax the media ownership laws.  These attempts have not yet gained any traction in Congress, but they will facilitate considerable debate next year within the television industry.

The Association opposes new legislation that would undermine the retransmission consent, must carry, and local compulsory copyright laws.  We will provide you with more detailed information in the days ahead. 

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