Broadcast-Friendlier STAVRA Bill Circulated

Doesn't Include Language Related to OTT Video

A new version of the Satellite Television Access and Viewer Rights Act (STAVRA), which is scheduled to be marked up Sept. 17 in the Senate Commerce Committee, was circulated late Friday, according to a copy obtained by Multichannel News.

The draft dropped retrans reforms opposed by TV stations in an effort to get the must-pass bill passed.

As previously reported, the draft was shorn of the "Local Choice" retrans remake proposal, which had been backed by cable and satellite operators while broadcasters were fighting it tooth and nail.

A copy of the managers amendment from committee cochairs Jay Rockefeller (D- W. Va.) and John Thune (R-S.D.) — essentially a substitute bill — obtained late Friday had been pared back even further, likely to a form broadcasters can live with.

A spokesperson for the National Association of Broadcasters said it was "reserving comment until [NAB has] a chance to fully review the language in the manager's amendment," but added: "From what we understand, the Senate Commerce legislation appears to be much less hostile to free and local broadcasting than the STAVRA draft."

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Photo via Ruddington Photos flickr under Creative Commons License.