Bennet, Udall Keep Up Fight to Deliver Denver TV to Four Corners Residents

Introduce Amendment to Enable Montezuma and La Plata Residents to Tune Into Denver TV

Washington, DC – Colorado U.S. Senators Michael Bennet and Mark Udall are keeping up the effort to deliver Denver TV to the Four Corners.  The Senators have filed an amendment to the Patent Reform Bill, which the Senate is currently debating, that would enable approximately 25,000 households in Montezuma and La Plata counties to access television broadcasts from their own state.  The amendment is similar to a bill Bennet introduced last year that Udall cosponsored.    

The Four Corners Television Access Act makes it easier for both cable and satellite carriers to offer Denver programming in addition to their existing programming.  

“Four Corners residents have been kept in the dark from Colorado news, emergency and sports programming for too long,” said Bennet, the amendment’s sponsor.  “It only makes sense for Coloradans in the Four Corners to have the option to watch TV from their home state, and we need to keep up the fight until we get this problem fixed.”

“Four Corners residents are Coloradans, and they should be able to get Colorado news, sports and other programming,” said Udall, a longtime advocate for the legislation.  “This is an issue of fairness and public safety, and we’re not going to stop fighting until Coloradans in the Four Corners can get access to Colorado TV.”

The amendment would make it easier for cable operators to offer Denver TV broadcast stations by deeming them “significantly viewed” in La Plata and Montezuma counties.  The “significantly viewed” status would allow the counties access to Denver stations.  The amendment would also remove the requirement under current law for “retransmission consent” between broadcasters and entities that retransmit broadcast signals, such as cable operators. This elimination of the retransmission consent requirement for broadcasters would apply as a special exception only for these two counties to gain in-state broadcasting.

Additionally, the amendment would allow satellite providers to offer Denver TV broadcast stations by making La Plata and Montezuma counties eligible for an exception under current law which allows satellite providers to retransmit television broadcast stations outside the DMA of those stations to two counties in a single state that had a combined total of television households that did not exceed 10,000 in 2003.  The Four Corners Television Access amendment would amend this exception to permit retransmission to two counties with a combined total number of television households that did not exceed 30,000 in 2003.

As part of the Albuquerque, New Mexico Designated Market Area (DMA), and not the Denver DMA, residents of Montezuma and La Plata Counties are deprived of important Colorado news and sports programs.