After Years of Work, an Initial Breakthrough in Providing In-State Television Programming to the Four Corners
Denver – Today, Colorado U.S. Senator Michael Bennet applauded the new agreement between Rocky Mountain PBS (RMPBS) and DISH to broadcast programming in La Plata and Montezuma Counties.
“Residents of La Plata and Montezuma Counties have gone without access to in-state programming for far too long, and they are rightly frustrated with the situation,” said Bennet. “After years of discussions with local broadcasters, satellite companies, and other parties, we welcome the agreement between Rocky Mountain PBS and DISH. This initial breakthrough demonstrates that progress is possible, and I urge the remaining parties to follow their lead and promptly reach an agreement.”
Following the launch, DISH subscribers in La Plata and Montezuma Counties will be able to access in-state programming from Rocky Mountain PBS on DISH channel 8.
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 U.S. Senator Cory Gardner and U.S. Representative Scott 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.