Rockefeller, Kerry Work to Make Broadcast Television More Accessible for American Families

November 10, 2009

WASHINGTON, D.C.—Senator John D. (Jay) Rockefeller IV, Chairman of the U.S. Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee, and Senator John F. Kerry, Chairman of the U.S. Senate Subcommittee on Communications, Technology, and the Internet, issued the following statement today after introducing the Satellite Television Extension and Localism Act of 2004 which reauthorizes the Satellite Home Viewer Extension and Reauthorization Act of 2004 (SHVERA).  SHVERA provides satellite carriers with a copyright and communications regulatory framework to retransmit broadcast television signals to subscribers throughout America.  With key portions of SHVERA set to expire at the end of this year and changes necessary to reflect the digital television transition, its reauthorization is necessary so satellite and broadcast services to consumers can continue undisturbed.  

“I firmly believe that American families should have access to their local news, sports, and community programming in even the most rural regions of the country,” said Chairman Rockefeller.  “Having a regulatory framework for the satellite carriers that retransmit broadcast television enables this to happen.  As we look to reauthorize SHVERA, we have an opportunity to encourage America’s satellite carriers and broadcasters to better serve consumers across the country.” 

“We need to make sure that every consumer has access to the local news and entertainment they count on, including public broadcasting, no matter where they live or who provides their service,” said Senator Kerry.  “I thank the Chairman for his leadership on this issue and look forward to working with all stakeholders as the process moves forward on this critical legislation.”