According to sources, the Senate Commerce Committee is
looking at holding a hearing in late July on retransmission consent and the
sweeping communications deregulation bill backed by Senator James DeMint (R-S.C.)
A committee spokesperson was checking at press time, but had
The bill is unlikely to go anywhere in the Senate as currently
constituted, but DeMint is in line to be ranking member and perhaps chairman
and some cable and satellite companies are said to have pushed for a hearing.
That bill is aimed at clearing out "decades-old"
regs DeMint says represent the government inappropriately picking winners and
The bill would:
- Repeal those provisions of the Communications Act that
mandate the carriage and purchase of certain broadcast signals by cable
operators, satellite providers, and their customers.
- Repeal the Communications Act's "retransmission
consent" provisions and the Copyright Act's "compulsory license"
provisions, thereby allowing negotiations for the carriage of broadcast
stations to take place in the same deregulated environment as negotiations for
carriage of non-broadcast channels such as Discovery, Food Network, and AMC.
- Repeal ownership limitations imposed on local media
operators, allowing businesses to evolve and adapt to today's dynamic