Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
February 6, 2016

Updated: JSA Changes Included in House Satellite Bill

Walden (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

When House Energy and Commerce Committee members consider a satellite television bill tomorrow, they will be voting on a version announced late yesterday by Communications and Technology Subcommittee Chairman Greg Walden, R-Ore. The new bill includes a modification to earlier proposed language on joint sales agreements, or deals in which one broadcaster takes over ad sales for another in the same local market. (We’d originally reported that Walden’s deal would be offered as an amendment.)

Critics of JSAs and other “sidecar deals” say they essentially allow broadcasters to get around rules that limit how many stations they can own in one market.

An earlier version of the bill would have blocked the FCC from considering these agreements as ownership until the agency completes its 2010 quadrennial review of the rules. The FCC voted back in March to set such restrictions on JSAs. The deal announced by Walden would allow broadcasters to petition the FCC to postpone application of this restriction through either 2016 or up to 18 months after the FCC denies a waiver petition, whichever comes later.

The panel is expected to hear opening statements later today and start holding votes on the bill tomorrow. The markup also includes legislation on energy infrastructure and the Internet domain name system.

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