There are those today who wish to devalue Local TV to the benefit of national cable and satellite companies. Some are in Congress and some are large national conglomerates who simply wish to profit at the expense of local television stations such as us here at FOX 12 and PDX TV in Portland.
Here is why FREE, local TV is important:
However, some people don't value local TV. Cable and satellite companies are pushing Congress to allow them to drop local stations.
They hope you believe your local, free-over-the-air TV stations are just another cable or satellite channel which you must pay for.
They think you won't miss all that local television provides for you and everyone in your Local community.
Sure, you'll still get the same network, but think about what you would lose:
If the only newspaper you could read is USA Today and the only TV news you could watch is CNN or one of the other national Cable news channels, who would cover the news, weather and sports here in Portland? Who would hold local civic and business leaders accountable? Who would protect residents from local scams? Who will get the message out to help raise funds for local charities? Who would be there for us in weather emergencies? Who would connect us with what's happening in town?
Localism is at the forefront of local TV stations' operations. In emergency situations, it is the local broadcaster, not the cable or satellite companies, on the scene providing the public with timely, and often lifesaving, information. Localism simply is not in the DNA or in the business models of national cable and satellite operators. Localism is what separates local television stations from all the other channels.
Local TV stations bring our communities together all over America.
Preserve that irreplaceable, local asset and support your hometown licensed local TV stations... All of them. Where would we be without them?
Please contact today your representatives in Congress to show your support for local TV all over America. Tell them you do not wish to see the boundaries of your local television market redrawn. Tell them you wish to see the core concept of localism protected, maintained and strengthened. Tell them satellite TV providers, like cable TV providers, should offer the services of every local TV station in every local TV market in America.
Tell your neighbors and let your representatives hear from you. Here is how to contact your representatives in Congress:
Merkley, Jeff (D-OR)
t: (202) 224-3753
f: (202) 228-3997
Wyden, Ron (D-OR)
t: (202) 224-5244
f: (202) 228-2717
Blumenauer, Earl (D-03)
t: (202) 225-4811
f: (202) 225-8941
DeFazio, Peter (D-04)
p: (202) 225-6416
Schrader, Kurt (D-05)
p: (202) 225-5711
f: (202) 225-5699
Walden, Greg (R-02)
Wu, David, (D-1)
p: (202) 225-0855
f: (202) 225-9497
If you don't know what district you live in, you can find helpful information at http://www.govtrack.us
Multiple issues of importance to broadcasters will arise during the reauthorization of SHVERA. As Congress considers how best to alter the Copyright and Communications Acts to reflect today's television market, it is imperative that the core concept of localism be maintained and strengthened. Congress has affirmed time and time again that maintenance of a strong system of locally oriented television stations licensed to local communities is needed to ensure that viewers have access to the vital news, weather and emergency information that affect their lives.
This law gives satellite companies the right to retransmit local television stations into their own markets as part of their overall program package. This local-into-local service has been a win-win situation for all. It has permitted satellite to more effectively compete with cable and provided subscribers seamless access to their local stations. However, there are currently 31 markets where the satellite companies do not offer this local service. Satellite companies should offer local channels in every market in the country. If Congress does not mandate this local coverage, satellite companies won't offer it.
Some satellite companies have asked for the right to offer programming from other markets, even if that programming is identical to the programming a local broadcaster is already offering, such as network or syndicated programming. Congress should maintain the current policies that prohibit this practice. These long-standing policies support the ability of local stations to earn the advertising revenue necessary to support important programming and services viewers depend on, including costly local news.
As Congress considers the reauthorization of SHVERA, keep in mind the concerns of your local viewers and the communities broadcasters serve. Local broadcasters serve large and small communities across the country, and the viability of local broadcasting is essential to the viewers you represent.