Advanced Television

US ‘STELA’ Act looks OK

November 22, 2019

By Chris Forrester

A renewal of the long-established Satellite Television Extension & Localisation Act (STELA) is looking more likely following extensive discussions by US lawmakers.

A new variation, introduced by Senator Roger Wicker, and based on his STAR Act (Satellite Television Access Reauthorisation) was introduced to the US Senate with Wicker bluntly warning colleagues that without the Act hundreds of thousands of viewers would lose access to distant network TV signals.

The new variation is the TV Viewer Protection Act, and has won support from the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB).

Wicker stated: “For 30 years, STELA and previous versions of the law have allowed people who live beyond the reach of a broadcast signal to receive broadcast programming nonetheless. Some Senators believe that in 2019 STELA has outlived its usefulness and want it to expire. But other Senators want to extend some of these provisions – at least in the short term – to prevent consumers from losing these broadcast signals. Still others want to use the STELA reauthorisation legislation as a vehicle to implement other reforms.”

“I have introduced new legislation, the Satellite Television Access Reauthorization – or STAR – to move this process forward. The existing STELAR statute expires December 31st,” he added.

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