The Satellite Television Extension and Localism Act and its predecessors was put in place to make sure satellite MVPDs can provide broadcast network programming to all Americans, even those who cannot receive them otherwise. NAB’s Jane Mago told a House panel the need for this is greatly diminished.
Mago reminded legislators that at all times the issue has been on the table, the necessity of protecting local broadcast has been recognized to be of paramount importance. That means that when possible, citizens should receive service from a local rather than distant network affiliate.
Mago pointed out that as anticipated by Congress, technological advances could mitigate problems carrying local broadcast have largely been overcome, resulting in a situation where only about 2% of viewers are unable to receive local channels via a satellite subscription.
She suggested therefore that Congress may want to consider allowing the license which allows a satellite MVPD to import a distant signal be allowed to sunset. If on the other hand, Congress decides to keep some form of license in place, she asked that the protections afforded local broadcasters be retained.
In the end, Mago asked for a clean bill which does not drag in unrelated issues.