A New ‘Direct’ Argument Arises From A Protracted Retrans Impasse

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RBR+TVBR INFOCUS


On July 25, influential Louisiana Republican House Member Steve Scalise introduced a bill that was referred to the Subcommittee on Courts, Intellectual Property and the Internet. California Democrat Anna Eshoo signed on as a co-sponsor of this legislation, which would largely require “good faith requirements” when negotiating a new retransmission consent agreement.

The bill was dead on arrival, with no co-sponsors or mention of the “Modern Television Act of 2019” until today. That’s because Jim Schwartzel, President of a small TV broadcasting company in Southwest Florida, says AT&T is support of the legislation.

If so, he has one question for the owner of DirecTV: Is AT&T being truthful?

Schwartzel has every reason to ask, as DirecTV has lacked a retrans consent agreement with his TV station since late January.

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