For Immediate Release
Contact: Ted Hearn
PITTSBURGH, Nov. 14, 2019 – ACA Connects President and CEO Matthew M. Polka issued the following statement after passage today of the Television Viewer Protection Act of 2019 (H.R. 5035) sponsored by Rep. Rep. Mike Doyle (D-Penn.), Chairman of the Energy and Commerce Committee’s Subcommittee on Communications and Technology:
“ACA Connects is pleased that the House Energy and Commerce Committee’s Subcommittee on Communications and Technology passed the Television Viewer Protection Act of 2019 (H.R. 5035) with bipartisan support. The Television Viewer Protection Act of 2019 was introduced as new legislation designed to extend the Satellite Television Extension and Localism Act Reauthorization Act of 2014 (STELAR), key provisions of which are set to expire next month.
“Importantly, Subcommittee Chairman Rep. Mike Doyle (D-Penn.) included a provision in his bill that will require large commercial TV stations to negotiate retransmission consent in good-faith with buying groups, such as the National Cable Television Cooperative (NCTC), which today represents hundreds of smaller multichannel video programming distributor (MVPDs) in negotiations with cable programming vendors.
“Chairman Doyle’s buying group requirement would mean federal law will permit smaller MVPDs to designate NCTC to negotiate retransmission consent on their behalf with gigantic TV station ownership groups like Nexstar and Sinclair Broadcasting Group. With the buying group provision, these large broadcast stations groups won’t be able to refuse to deal with the buying group chosen by traditional mom-and-pop video providers. These large broadcasters will have to deal with buying groups in the same way they deal with large cable operators.
“Consequently, ACA Connects urges the full Energy and Commerce Committee and the House of Representatives to approve the buying group provision before the expiration of key STELAR provisions on Dec. 31.”
About ACA Connects: America’s Communications Association – Based in Pittsburgh, ACA Connects is a trade organization representing more than 700 smaller and medium-sized, independent companies that provide broadband, phone and video services to nearly 8 million customers primarily located in rural and smaller suburban markets across America. Through active participation in the regulatory and legislative process in Washington, D.C., ACA Connects’ members work together to advance the interests of their customers and ensure the future competitiveness and viability of their business. For more information, visit: https://acaconnects.org