The US STELA Act permits households to receive re-transmitted TV signals from far-distant broadcasters. It is due to be examined by a US government committee on October 23rd, and its future is not guaranteed.
The Satellite Television Extension and Localism Act of 2010 exempts local broadcasters from needing retransmission consent in order to supply network TV signals to “unserved households”. The Act was first put in place in 1988, and has to be renewed every 5 years.
Unless it is deliberately renewed it will expire at the end of this year.
Back in June the US Copyright Office said – in effect – that it was time the Act was allowed to die. The National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) has also said it was time to end the provisions.
The NAB’s view is that there is now a competitive landscape in place and there are no technological impediments to providing viewers with their local broadcast stations rather than out-of-market substitutes.
“Viewers will benefit from eliminating this outdated law, ensuring they receive the local content most relevant to them. In rare instances where a local broadcast channel is not available, private business arrangements between satellite TV providers and broadcasters can resolve these issues,” stated NAB in June.