Text: H.R.3216 — 111th Congress (2009-2010)All Bill Information (Except Text)

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Introduced in House (07/14/2009)


111th CONGRESS
1st Session
H. R. 3216

To amend the Communications Act of 1934 to permit the retransmission of signals of local television broadcast stations in an adjacent underserved county, and for other purposes.


IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
July 14, 2009

Mr. Ross (for himself, Mr. Frank of Massachusetts, Mrs. Lummis, Mr. Herger, Mr. Boren, Mr. Tanner, Mr. Childers, Mr. Smith of Nebraska, Mr. Berry, Mr. McGovern, and Mr. Hill) introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on the Judiciary, and in addition to the Committee on Energy and Commerce, for a period to be subsequently determined by the Speaker, in each case for consideration of such provisions as fall within the jurisdiction of the committee concerned


A BILL

To amend the Communications Act of 1934 to permit the retransmission of signals of local television broadcast stations in an adjacent underserved county, and for other purposes.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled,

SECTION 1. Short title.

This Act may be cited as the “Local Television Freedom Act of 2009”.

SEC. 2. Carriage of stations in an adjacent underserved county under the Communications Act of 1934.

(a) Retransmission Consent.—Section 325(b) of the Communications Act of 1934 (47 U.S.C. 325(b)) is amended—

(1) in paragraph (2)—

(A) by striking “or” at the end of subparagraph (D);

(B) by striking the period at the end of subparagraph (E) and inserting “; or”;

(C) by inserting after subparagraph (E) the following new subparagraph:

“(F) to retransmission of the signals of a television broadcast station by a multichannel video programming distributor to a subscriber located in the station’s adjacent underserved county, unless the station certifies to the multichannel video programming distributor that it is under no legal obligation restricting its ability to grant retransmission consent to such multichannel video programming distributor.”; and

(D) in the last sentence, by striking “the term ‘local market’ has the meaning given that term” and inserting “the terms ‘local market’ and ‘adjacent underserved county’ have the meanings given such terms”; and

(2) by inserting after paragraph (7) the following new paragraph:

“(8) A television broadcast station that elects retransmission consent may not request as a condition to receiving retransmission consent that a multichannel video programming distributor not exercise its right to carry any other broadcast station in the station’s adjacent underserved county.”.

(b) Certification rulemaking required.—Within 120 days after the date of enactment of this Act, the Federal Communications Commission (in this Act referred to as the “Commission”) shall complete all actions necessary to promulgate rules governing the certification provided by the television broadcast station under section 325(b)(2)(F) of the Communications Act of 1934 (as added by subsection (a)(1)(C) of this Act).

(c) Carriage of Distant Signals.—Section 339(a)(1)(B) of such Act (47 U.S.C. 339(a)(1)(B)) is amended by inserting “or adjacent underserved county” after “local market”.

(d) Rulemaking Required.—

(1) IN GENERAL.—Within 90 days after the date of enactment of this Act, the Commission shall commence a proceeding to revise the regulations concerning network nonduplication protection, syndicated exclusivity protection, and sports blackout protection (part 76 of title 47, Code of Federal Regulations) against the retransmission by a multichannel video programming distributor of signals of television broadcast stations to permit such retransmission if the subscriber receiving the signals is located in the station’s adjacent underserved county, as such term is defined in section 122(j)(6) of title 17, United States Code (as added by section 3(a)(5) of this Act).

(2) CONTENTS OF REGULATIONS.—Regulations issued pursuant to paragraph (1) shall prohibit a multichannel video programming distributor from retransmitting the signal of a television broadcast station in the station’s adjacent underserved county unless the multichannel video programming distributor offers service in such county pursuant to sections 338, 614, or 615 of the Communications Act of 1934 and carries the signals of any station required to be carried in such county under such sections.

(3) DEADLINE FOR ACTION.—The Commission shall complete all actions necessary to prescribe the revised regulations required by paragraph (1) within 180 days after the date of enactment of this Act.

SEC. 3. Carriage of stations in an adjacent underserved county under the Copyright Act.

(a) Satellite carriers.—Section 122 of title 17, United States Code, is amended—

(1) in subsection (a), in the matter preceding paragraph (1), by inserting “or adjacent underserved county” after “station’s local market”;

(2) in subsections (d) and (e), by inserting “or adjacent underserved county” after “into the local market”;

(3) in subsection (f), by inserting “or adjacent underserved county” after “station’s local market” in paragraphs (1) and (2);

(4) in subsection (g), by inserting “or adjacent underserved county” after “station’s local market”; and

(5) in subsection (j), by adding at the end the following:

“(6) ADJACENT UNDERSERVED COUNTY.—The term ‘adjacent underserved county’, in the case of both commercial and noncommercial television broadcast stations, means a county within the station’s adjacent market that is both—

“(A) located in the same State as the station’s community of license; and

“(B) not within the local market of any other station that is both affiliated with the same network and located in the same State as such other station’s community of license.

“(7) ADJACENT MARKET.—

“(A) IN GENERAL.—The term ‘adjacent market’, in the case of both commercial and noncommercial television broadcast stations, means any local market adjacent to, and partially but not entirely in the same State as, the local market in which the station’s community of license is located.

“(B) TREATMENT OF CERTAIN COUNTIES.—A county that is in a local market containing no in-State network stations, but which is not located in the adjacent market (as defined under subparagraph (A)) of any in-State network station, shall be considered to be the adjacent market of the nearest local market located in whole or in part within the State in which the county is located.”.

(b) Cable systems.—Section 111(a) of title 17, United States Code, is amended—

(1) in paragraph (4), by striking “or” after the semicolon;

(2) in paragraph (5), by striking the period at the end and inserting “; or”; and

(3) by adding at the end the following:

“(6) the secondary transmission is to a subscriber in a broadcast station’s adjacent underserved county, in accordance with the same terms, conditions, and definitions as apply under section 122.”.