×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Steve Scalise Introduces Bill to Eliminate Retransmission Consent Rules

WASHINGTON — House Majority Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.) has once again introduced legislation that would repeal regulations that mandate that cable and satellite operators seek broadcasters’ permission before carrying their signals.

Scalise introduced similar legislation in previous years, but they did not go far, given fierce opposition from broadcasters. It essentially would do away with retransmission consent, which has proven to be a lucrative revenue stream for stations and broadcasters. Another provision that would be eliminated is one that mandates that multichannel operators carry broadcast signals. Stations have the option to choose between the retransmission consent or must-carry provisions.

The bill — called the Next Generation Television Marketplace Act — would also eliminate the Copyright Act’s compulsory license provisions.

Dennis Wharton, spokesman for the National Association of Broadcasters, said the proposed legislation would “severely damage broadcasters’ ability to serve local communities and hurt tens of millions of viewers who rely every day on broadcast TV for news, entertainment, and lifeline weather coverage.”

Scalise said the laws, adopted in the 1990s, no longer make sense in a changed marketplace.

“Innovation tends to follow the path of least government resistance,” he said in a statement. “For proof, look no further than the growth of online streaming services that are operating in a completely free market, while competing against other platforms that are regulated as if they were still monopolies from the 1990s. My legislation will level the playing field so consumers can benefit from even more freedom in the video marketplace.”

Suffice it to say, the cable industry likes the legislation.

“Nothing short of sweeping action is necessary in today’s marketplace where outdated regulations permit the large corporate broadcasters to take advantage of small cable operators and their customers,” said Matthew Polka, the CEO of the American Cable Association, which represents smaller cable operators.

Popular on Variety

More Politics

  • Jane Fonda Arrested

    Jane Fonda Arrested (Again) With Sam Waterston in Climate Change Protest

    Jane Fonda was arrested again on Friday for protesting outside the Capitol in an effort to urge U.S. officials to take climate change seriously. This time, however, fellow “Grace and Frankie” actor Sam Waterston joined in on the protest and was also arrested. “Today, the United States Capitol Police arrested 17 individuals for unlawfully demonstrating [...]

  • Elijah Cummings dead

    Democratic Congressman Elijah Cummings Dies at 68

    Democratic congressman Elijah Cummings, a prominent civil rights activist, chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Reform and key figure in President Donald Trump’s impeachment inquiry, died on Thursday from “complications concerning longstanding health challenges,” according to a statement issued by his office. He was 68. Cummings has been a representative of Maryland’s 7th [...]

  • U.K. and E.U. Strike New Brexit

    U.K., E.U. Strike New Brexit Deal, but It Faces Tough Sell in Parliament

    The U.K. has reached a last-minute Brexit deal with the European Union, but faces a major challenge getting it approved by lawmakers in Parliament. British Prime Minister Boris Johnson tweeted: “We’ve got a great new deal that takes back control,” and called on lawmakers to back the deal when it’s put before Parliament on Saturday. [...]

  • Donald Trump

    Twitter Explains What It Would Take for Trump’s Account or Tweets to Be Deleted

    Twitter grants special exemptions to Donald Trump and other “world leaders” from its code of conduct, including from rules that apply to everyone else. But the social network — which is Trump’s go-to megaphone — says nobody is “above our policies entirely.” Critics including presidential contender Sen. Kamala Harris have blasted Twitter for failing to [...]

  • Tulsi Gabbard, Tom Steyer, Cory Booker,

    Democrats Debate: Elizabeth Warren Calls for Breakup of Tech Companies

    Sen. Elizabeth Warren called for the breakup of big tech companies on Tuesday night, as the candidates debated the size and influence of the technology sector in society. “I’m not willing to give up and let a handful of monopolists dominate our economy and our democracy,” Warren said, citing Amazon as a company that controls [...]

  • Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Elizabeth Warren,

    Democratic Debate: Elizabeth Warren Takes Fire From Moderates

    Sen. Elizabeth Warren came under fire from her more moderate opponents in Tuesday night’s Democratic debate, who challenged her plan for “Medicare for all” and her wealth tax proposal. Sen. Amy Klobuchar, Mayor Pete Buttigieg, and former Rep. Beto O’Rourke took on Warren more forcefully than they have in previous debates. Buttigieg called her out [...]

  • Elizabeth Warren

    Elizabeth Warren's Fundraising Approach Worries Some Donors

    Elizabeth Warren raised nearly $25 million last quarter, and she did it without ever once setting foot in a fancy living room in Bel Air or Brentwood. Last week, she announced that if she is the Democratic nominee, she will continue to avoid high-dollar fundraisers in the general election. And on Tuesday, she went further, [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content