You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Senator sees b’caster bias in House TV spectrum plan

WASHINGTON — Senate Commerce Committee chairman John McCain (R-Ariz.) accused the House Commerce Committee of creating a “loophole” that would allow broadcasters to hoard valuable TV spectrum until well into the next century.

McCain is still working on legislation, which he will introduce Tuesday, that will close that loophole, an aide to the senator said Friday.

The House Commerce Committee voted last week to allow TV stations to hold on to both their current channel and the digital channel they will soon receive until 95% of their local market makes the transition to digital TV. The measure was opposed by Democrats who, like McCain, believe that digital TV will not hit the 95% penetration level until well beyond 2006.

Under the current Federal Communications Commission plan, broadcasters would give back their current channel in 2006 so it can be auctioned. Both the House and Senate Commerce Committees must come up with proposals to raise more than $20 billion from spectrum auctions. McCain has been a strong supporter of the FCC plan, which congressional bean-counters say would raise $5.4 billion to offset the budget deficit.

McCain also opposes a proposal by the Clinton administration to charge an annual fee for the use of spectrum. Variety incorrectly reported last week that McCain supported the proposed fee.

More TV

  • 'Big Bang Theory' Star Simon Helberg

    'Big Bang Theory' Star Simon Helberg to Produce CIA Comedy in Development at CBS

    WASHINGTON — Senate Commerce Committee chairman John McCain (R-Ariz.) accused the House Commerce Committee of creating a “loophole” that would allow broadcasters to hoard valuable TV spectrum until well into the next century. McCain is still working on legislation, which he will introduce Tuesday, that will close that loophole, an aide to the senator said […]

  • ESPN

    ESPN Cancels 'Barstool Van Talk,' Citing Concerns About Barstool Content

    WASHINGTON — Senate Commerce Committee chairman John McCain (R-Ariz.) accused the House Commerce Committee of creating a “loophole” that would allow broadcasters to hoard valuable TV spectrum until well into the next century. McCain is still working on legislation, which he will introduce Tuesday, that will close that loophole, an aide to the senator said […]

  • Kim Rosenstock Amy Poehler

    Amy Poehler-Kim Rosenstock Comedy Lands Put-Pilot Commitment From NBC

    WASHINGTON — Senate Commerce Committee chairman John McCain (R-Ariz.) accused the House Commerce Committee of creating a “loophole” that would allow broadcasters to hoard valuable TV spectrum until well into the next century. McCain is still working on legislation, which he will introduce Tuesday, that will close that loophole, an aide to the senator said […]

  • James Franco Issa Rae Kuamil Nanjiani

    Inaugural Indiewire Honors to Celebrate James Franco, Issa Rae, Kumail Nanjiani and More

    WASHINGTON — Senate Commerce Committee chairman John McCain (R-Ariz.) accused the House Commerce Committee of creating a “loophole” that would allow broadcasters to hoard valuable TV spectrum until well into the next century. McCain is still working on legislation, which he will introduce Tuesday, that will close that loophole, an aide to the senator said […]

  • HUNTER S. THOMPSON - 1998WRITER HUNTER

    MGM Sets Overall Deal With Davey Holmes, Develops Hunter S. Thompson Bio Series

    WASHINGTON — Senate Commerce Committee chairman John McCain (R-Ariz.) accused the House Commerce Committee of creating a “loophole” that would allow broadcasters to hoard valuable TV spectrum until well into the next century. McCain is still working on legislation, which he will introduce Tuesday, that will close that loophole, an aide to the senator said […]

  • 'Ray Donovan' Renewed for Season 6

    'Ray Donovan' Renewed for Season 6 at Showtime, Sets Move to New York

    WASHINGTON — Senate Commerce Committee chairman John McCain (R-Ariz.) accused the House Commerce Committee of creating a “loophole” that would allow broadcasters to hoard valuable TV spectrum until well into the next century. McCain is still working on legislation, which he will introduce Tuesday, that will close that loophole, an aide to the senator said […]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content