AFP Opposes Changes to Broadcast Retransmission Consent in STELA Reauthorization

Mar 1, 2014 by AFP

Dear House Energy & Commerce Committee Chairman Upton and House Communications Subcommittee Chairman Walden:

On behalf of more than 2.6 million Americans for Prosperity activists in all 50 states, I write to urge you to preserve the foundations of the current retransmission consent negotiation process as you consider the Satellite Television and Extension of Localism Act (STELA) reauthorization.

STELA was originally intended to promote home television delivery competition between incumbent cable franchises and upstart satellite television providers. If the competitive market is mature, then Congress should allow this legislation to expire. If the market is still truly in its infancy, then Congress should pass a simple date-change extension.

We urge you to oppose attaching ancillary provisions outside of the original scope and intent of this legislation. Our concern is that changing the way that broadcasters negotiate with cable and satellite television providers would stray from the original intention of the law, as well as favor one private party at the expense of another.

AFP applauds you for your leadership on this issue, and we encourage you to maintain your free-market, limited government approach. We look forward to working with you as you consider reauthorizing STELA and making changes to the current retransmission consent process.


Christine Harbin Hanson
Federal Affairs Manager
Americans for Prosperity