Following Bennet Push, DirecTV Will Now Provide Additional In-State Programming to Residents in La Plata County
Washington, D.C. – Today, Colorado U.S. Senator Michael Bennet cheered an agreement between DirecTV and Denver7, ABC’s local affiliate, to launch in-state programming for subscribers in La Plata County. The announcement comes days 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 broadcasters and national satellite companies, including DirecTV, to reach an agreement to provide residents in Southwest Colorado access to critical in-state programming during the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. The news follows a similar announcement last Friday by DISH Network that it would broadcast Denver7 and KDVR to subscribers in La Plata County.
“We welcome the agreement to bring Denver7 to DirecTV subscribers in La Plata County,” said Bennet. “Residents in Southwest Colorado have waited long enough to access programming from our state, and I am glad we are finally seeing progress after years of effort. Access to in-state programming has perhaps never been more critical with the coronavirus pandemic, and I urge the other parties to build on this momentum and swiftly reach agreements of their own.”
Since coming to the Senate, Bennet has worked alongside officials from La Plata County 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.