Two New Bills Wage War Against Retrans

The Next Generation Television Marketplace Act would repeal compulsory copyright licenses, various mandates on private sector companies and consumers, and FCC broadcast and media ownership rules. And the Video CHOICE Act would, among other things, give the FCC authority to grant interim carriage of a TV station during a retransmission consent negotiation impasse.

Sen. DeMint Resigning To Head Foundation

The South Carolina lawmaker said in a statement he was stepping down to become president of the Heritage Foundation. His office said his resignation is effective Jan. 1. To broadcasters, he was best known as an advocate of retransmission consent reform.

Bounce TV Sees DeMint Dereg Bill As Threat

Martin Luther King III says that new African-American network Bounce TV is off to a flying start, but a bill from Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) which would radically change the rules of the road on retransmission consent could completely derail it.

Senators Deeply Divided On Retrans Reform

At a hearing Tuesday on Sen. Jim DeMint’s proposal to jettison retransmission consent and compulsory licenses, broadcasters and cable representatives offer the party lines; former Fox exec Preston Padden supported DeMint’s idea, but warned against repealing retrans but not the compulsory license; while the Consumer Federation of America suggested moving broadcasters off the airwaves to “provide the maximum opportunity for all the people to use the public airways for their public purposes.”

GOP Lawmakers Want CPB Defunded

In letters sent Thursday to the chairmen of the Senate and House Appropriations committees, Sen. Jim DeMint and Rep. Doug Lamborn painted the public broadcasting organization as a relic from a bygone era and said the time has come to let the CPB stand on its own two feet. “Now is the appropriate and necessary time for the government to end taxpayer subsidies for CPB,” they wrote.

Diller On Aereo: ‘We Do Not Resell Anything’

Barry Diller, a major investor in the new Aereo online video service, tells a Senate panel that the start-up’s technology “simply allows a consumer to get what was the quid pro quo for a broadcaster receiving a free license.’’

COMMENTARY BY SCOTT CLELAND

Obsolete TV Law Needs Modernization

Important free market communications legislation introduced in mid-December warrants flagging because it brings needed attention to a real and growing problem, how obsolete communications law stifles innovation, growth and consumer benefit. The DeMint-Scalise bill, “The Next Generation Television Marketplace Act,” introduced by Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) and Rep. Steve Scalise (R-La.), would repeal antiquated restrictions of the 1992 Cable Act that have been made obsolete by dramatic changes in market, competition and technology over the last 20 years.

Bill Would Repeal Retrans, Ownership Caps

Sponsored by Rep. Steve Scalise (R-La.) and Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.), the Next Generation Television Marketplace Act would repeal the compulsory license, must-carry, retransmission consent and local broadcast ownership limits. NAB turns thumbs down.