Media Companies Should Eye House Communications Subcommittee Hearings Next Week


Media companies will want to pay close attention to the House Energy & Commerce Committee's Communications subcommittee next week.

It has scheduled two hearings of interest to broadcast and cable operators. The first is June 16, when it will consider a discussion draft of a a Satellite Home Viewer Act reauthorization bill..

The big question there is how narrow the bill will be. Among the issues is could address are allowing satellite and cable to import distant signals from adjacent markets when those markets cross state lines (split markets), and important adjacent signals into so-called "short" markets that lack one of more network affiliates.

A bill needs to pass by the end of the year, or satellite companies' blanket license to import distant network signals to viewers would expire and they would theoretically have to negotiate individually with any station they wanted to import.

Also on the docket is a hearing June 18 on behavioral advertising.

Committee chairman Rick Boucher (D-Va.) has said he wants as narrow a satellite reauthorization bill, but also wants to do something about short and split markets.

Boucher has been working on a bill concerning online privacy and behavioral marketing. Both that and the SHVERA bill are high on Boucher's legislative agenda.