Blackburn Secures Commitment On Short Markets
In a meeting of the Energy and Commerce Committee's Subcommittee on Telecommunications this morning, Congressman Marsha Blackburn (TN-7) received commitments to resolve the critical "short market" issue this year.
"Short Markets" describe designated market areas that do not have a full complement of TV news outlets. Less than 30 "short markets" exist nationally, including the area around Hardin County, Tennessee. These areas have been particularly impacted since the transition to digital television. Some residents no longer receive over the air network broadcasts and satellite providers currently are not permitted to offer local programming packages from adjacent markets.
Blackburn offered an amendment in the Communications, Technology and the Internet Subcommittee to grant satellite providers permission to offer short market subscribers local programming packages from adjacent markets. The text of the amendment is available here. In the course of Subcommittee consideration of her amendment, Blackburn received commitments from the National Association of Broadcasters and subcommittee chair Rick Boucher (VA-9) to resolve the issue this year.
"This isn't an issue of entertainment choices," Blackburn said. "This is a public safety issue. We are in tornado season and Tennesseans always keep one eye on the weather at this time of year. They deserve access to the most relevant weather information they can get. They don't always have that now. I am pleased that Mr. Boucher and the NAB have pledged to resolve this issue this year."