Report: Draft video bill drops controversial provision

A Republican bill to reauthorize the law governing the video marketplace will not contain a controversial provision that drew sharp criticism from broadcasters, according to Broadcasting and Cable.

That provision that would have allowed cable and satellite companies to sell basic programming packages that do not include certain broadcast channels.

The provision is being dropped after facing backlash from broadcasters, sources told Broadcasting and Cable after a Wednesday meeting among Republicans. The draft bill’s other provisions — including language to allow cable and satellite companies to negotiate with individual broadcasters, remove government protections for broadcasters during the weeks that ratings information is collected and lift equipment requirements on set-top boxes — remain on the table, according to the report.

The Satellite Television Extension and Localism Act expires at the end of this year, and some members of Congress are looking to use the reauthorization process to change the way broadcasters negotiation with cable and satellite companies. 

The House Energy and Commerce Committee will hold a hearing on the law next week.


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