Bennet, Udall, Salazar, Coffman Urge Congressional Leaders to Deliver Denver TV to Montezuma, La Plata County Residents

Letter Seeks Consideration of Four Corners Television Act As Must-Pass Legislation

February 23, 2010

Washington, DC - U.S. Senators Michael Bennet and Mark Udall, and U.S. Representatives John Salazar and Mike Coffman, today urged Congressional leaders to work to allow Southwest Colorado residents to view television coverage from their own state.

In a letter to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and House Minority Leader John Boehner, Bennet, Udall, Salazar and Coffman asked that the Four Corner Television Access Act be included as must-pass legislation this year.

"As our communities grow more interconnected, and as the barriers to information-sharing continue to break down, it is unfair and unsafe for our constituents in the Four Corners region to continue to suffer as a result of an archaic broadcasting framework," the letter states. "The inability of our constituents to receive time sensitive weather alerts and emergency information in the storm affected Rocky Mountain region is an unnecessary compromise that Southwest Colorado residents have made for too long."

The Four Corners Television Act was introduced in the House and Senate last year. The bill would make Denver television available to approximately 25,000 households--75,000 people--in Montezuma and La Plata counties, which are currently part of the Albuquerque, New Mexico Designated Market Area (DMA) and not the Denver DMA.

As a result, residents of Montezuma and La Plata Counties are deprived of important Colorado news and sports programs. The Four Corners Television Act of 2009 would allow both cable and satellite carriers to offer Denver programming by making these counties eligible for exceptions that exist under current law, which have to do with population and the of the affected area.

For more information on the Four Corners Television Access Act, please click here.

The Four Corners Television Access Act has been referred to both the Senate Judiciary Committee and the Senate Commerce Committee for consideration in the Senate.

The full text of the letter follows:

February 23, 2010


The Honorable Harry Reid
Majority Leader
U.S. Senate
S-221 U.S. Capitol
Washington, DC 20510
The Honorable Mitch McConnell
Minority Leader
U.S. Senate
S-230 U.S. Capitol
Washington, DC 20510
The Honorable Nancy Pelosi
Speaker
U.S. House of Representatives
H-232 U.S. Capitol
Washington, DC 20515
The Honorable John Boehner
Minority Leader
U.S. House of Representatives
H-204 U.S. Capitol
Washington, DC 20515


Dear Leaders Reid and McConnell, Speaker Pelosi and Minority Leader Boehner,

We are writing today to ask you to help us address an ongoing problem and a principal concern for our constituents in Southwest Colorado. For decades, outdated federal regulations have kept many community members in this region from being able to view television programming from their own state capital: Denver, Colorado. Currently, these viewers receive news, weather, sports and Statehouse coverage from Albuquerque, New Mexico.

Colorado is not the only state to have experienced this problem. Historically, Congressional leaders from other states have successfully fought for legislative fixes on behalf of their constituents. With this in mind, we have sponsored the Four Corners Television Access Act (S. 771/ H.R.1860). For the safety and welfare of our constituents we request that you include the Four Corners Television Access Act as part of must pass legislation this year.

As our communities grow more interconnected, and as the barriers to information-sharing continue to break down, it is unfair and unsafe for our constituents in the Four Corners region to continue to suffer as a result of an archaic broadcasting framework. The inability of our constituents to receive time sensitive weather alerts and emergency information in the storm affected Rocky Mountain region is an unnecessary compromise that Southwest Colorado residents have made for too long.

Thank you for your consideration of this request. We look forward to working with you to make sure all of Colorado's residents have access to the television programming of the state they are proud to call home.

Sincerely,


Mark Udall          Michael F. Bennet          John T. Salazar                  Mike Coffman
U.S. Senator       U.S. Senator                  Member of Congress         Member of Congress

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