After Years of Work, Bennet Welcomes New Access to Denver Television in Southwest Colorado

Washington, D.C. – Today, Colorado U.S. Senator Michael Bennet applauded the announcement by DISH Network that it has launched the Denver-based network affiliates of ABC (KMGH) and FOX (KDVR) to subscribers in La Plata County. The announcement comes the day after Bennet, along with U.S. Senator Cory Gardner (R-Colo.), U.S. Representative Scott Tipton (R-Colo.), and Colorado Attorney General Phil Weiser called on Denver-based television broadcasters and satellite companies, including DISH, to urgently reach an agreement to ensure that residents in Southwest Colorado have access to critical in-state programming during the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) outbreak. 

“After years of work, we are pleased to see Denver television finally come to Southwest Colorado,” said Bennet. “The current pandemic underscores that access to in-state programming is not only a convenience for our communities, it is an urgent matter of public health and safety. Coloradans in La Plata County have waited long enough for this breakthrough, which is a credit to the persistent efforts of Denver broadcasters, DISH Network, and local officials. I urge the remaining parties to follow their lead. I also want to thank Attorney General Weiser, Senator Gardner, and Congressman Tipton for their close collaboration over the years to achieve this milestone for Southwest Colorado.”

Going forward, DISH Network subscribers in La Plata County can access ABC (KMGH) on Channel 10 and Fox (KDVR) on Channel 31.

Since coming to the Senate, Bennet has worked alongside officials from La Plata and Montezuma Counties to help residents access in-state broadcasts for news, weather, emergency information, and sports. In 2010, Bennet pushed Congress to require the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to report on potential solutions to bring Colorado broadcasts to the two counties. In 2014, Bennet secured language in the Satellite Television Extension and Localism Act Reauthorization (STELAR) Act to help La Plata and Montezuma access in-state broadcasts from cable and satellite providers.  

Following passage of the STELAR Act, Bennet, along with Gardner and Tipton, wrote to the FCC requesting a rule change to allow counties to petition the FCC to change their broadcasting markets to allow in-state programming. After the FCC finalized the rule to allow for such petitions, Bennet worked with county commissioners in La Plata to submit one. The FCC approved La Plata’s petition in 2017.