Rep. Bob Goodlatte announced that he secured a provision in legislation, passed by the House of Representatives Wednesday, that will ensure that subscribers to satellite television in the area have access to all four television networks.
S. 3333, the Satellite Television Extension and Localism Act of 2010, reauthorizes the license that allows satellite companies to bring consumers television programming.
Many markets, like the Harrisonburg market, which includes Harrisonburg, Staunton, Waynesboro, and Augusta and Rockingham counties, do not have a full complement of network television stations. The Harrisonburg market has an ABC station, which also provides a FOX station on one of its multicast channels.
However, there is no local NBC or CBS station, and federal laws currently prohibit many consumers from getting any NBC or CBS stations at all through their satellite television company without jumping through hoops that are often insurmountable.
“One of the big problems we have had in the Harrisonburg/Augusta/Rockingham county market is that many consumers do not have access to all four network television stations due to obscure federal rules,” explains Goodlatte. “I am pleased to report that this bill contains a provision I helped secure that will amend federal law to make it clear that all consumers in our area will have access to four network television stations via satellite, regardless of where they live.”
This legislation also contains a provision that would allow DISH Network to again be permitted to offer network programming from other areas when there are no stations of the same network in the local market. DISH had previously been prohibited from offering these signals by a federal court for previous violations.
“This legislation is a big step forward in updating the laws governing satellite television broadcasting in rural areas, but there is more work to be done,” comments Goodlatte. “I will continue working to ensure that consumers in rural areas have the same access to quality programming that those in more urban areas currently enjoy.”
The Satellite Television Extension and Localism Act of 2010 passed the House of Representatives May 12 after having previously been passed by the U.S. Senate. The legislation will now go to President Barack Obama to be signed into law.
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