Rep. Deal Withdraws Retransmission Consent Amendment

Apr 26, 2006  •  Post A Comment

Rep. Nathan Deal, R-Ga., withdrew a controversial proposed amendment to reform retransmission consent Wednesday in the wake of a National Association of Broadcasters campaign to defeat the measure.

Rep. Deal had planned to attach the amendment to major legislation that would reform video franchising regulations. The legislation, which is being considered by the House Energy and Commerce Committee, would make it easier for phone companies to get into the pay TV business.

“NAB thanks thousands of radio and TV broadcasters and the 50 state association executives who weighed in with lawmakers on this issue of critical importance to free, over-the-air television’s future,” said David Rehr, NAB president and CEO, in a statement during the association’s convention in Las Vegas. “We expect this issue to arise again, and NAB asks all broadcasters to remain vigilant in educating Congress.”

Still, retransmission consent reform fans were taking comfort from the fact that Rep. Joe Barton, R-Texas, the committee’s chairman, has agreed to hold a committee roundtable discussion on the rules, which clear the way for broadcasters to seek compensation from cable and satellite TV operators for retransmitting broadcast TV signals.