Bill Would Halt Tv Blackouts
On Wednesday, the House subcommittee on communications and technology is due to take up a draft bill by Congresswoman Anna Eshoo that is aimed at eliminating blackouts during carriage disputes between broadcasters and cable, satellite, and telco TV providers. As reported by AdWeek, the bill would give the FCC authority to intervene in those disputes to require carriage of a broadcast station during an impasse in negotiations. Eshoo, who represents California's Silicon Valley, has said that she wants the committee to examine whether changes to current law are needed to adequately protect consumers and prevent the reoccurrence of blackouts. Her draft bill has already received support from the American Cable Association and the American Television Alliance and opposition from The National Association of Broadcasters, whose president and CEO, Gordon Smith, told AdWeek: Time Warner Cable, DirecTV and Dish are spending millions in Washington manufacturing a crisis over retransmission consent, when in fact it is these three companies responsible for nine out of ten disruptions of service.