Last week, the U.S. Senate passed the Satellite Television Extension and Localism Act (STELA) of 2010, the five-year reauthorization that allows satellite operators to import distant affiliated network TV station signals to viewers who can’t receive a comparable local signal. House passage is still pending.
The legislation has had a rocky time in Congress. The Dec. 31 expiration had to be extended twice after if failed to pass, and there was a brief period when the license had actually expired. The current bill contains a provision making it retroactive to cover that base.
Satellite operators and content owners complied with requests by Congress to maintain the status quo when the license expired on Feb. 28.