The USA’s long-established Satellite Television Extension & Localisation Act (STELA) could die but be replaced by a new STAR regulation (Satellite Television Access Reauthorisation).
STELA permits satellite viewers, especially those living in remote and rural locations, to watch ‘distant’ networks not intended for their regions, on their receivers. It is due to expire at the end of this year.
Senator Roger Wicker is introducing what he describes as a ‘clean’ renewal of STELA with his new STAR proposals and which would stay in place for the next 5 years.
In essence, network broadcasters wanted the STELA rules to die at year’s end, while cable and satellite operators – and some 870,000 private homes – want it to continue.
The proposal is due for discussion this week, although three (CBA, ABC and Fox) of the four main US network broadcasters have confirmed that even if the current Act dies at the end of the year they will continue to broadcast and permit viewers to access their ‘distant’ signals.
Senator Lindsey Graham is also requesting that a one-year transition period takes place.