Flawed, dangerous, unfair Satellite TV Regulation

Local lives put at risk and local businesses harmed

Some progress being made, more progress needed

4 February 2023: I sent the following email to Pinal County Supervisor Stephen Miller:

Supervisor Miller,

I have learned that you are a member of Congressman Ciscomani's Citizens Advisory Council.

I sent the following to Congressman Ciscomani on 4 January 2023:
I want to make you aware of the toughest challenge for your first 30 days as our Representative. It is an issue that you probably have never heard of since you personally have not been impacted by it. This issue puts the lives your southern Pinal County constituents at risk and harms businesses in your District.

The Federal Government bans residents here from viewing Tucson TV stations (30 miles away) via satellite TV providers. It requires that only Phoenix TV stations (120 miles away) be provided. Residents cannot get local TV news, weather, sports, advertising, AND local emergency information. In 2013 I began working to get Congress to fix the dangerous and unfair "Satellite Television Extension and Localism Act" (STELA) legislation. Our Congressional Representatives acknowledged the seriousness of the issue, but failed to take action to correct it. In 2015 I began working with the Pinal County Board of Supervisors on a petition to the FCC for a "Market Area Modification". That effort continues, but the County is limited on what it can do on a Federal Government issue. Some members of Congress believe the Internet is a "solution" to the dangerous and unfair FCC Designated Market Area (DMA) regulation. However, as dramatically demonstrated during the COVID-19 pandemic and the Bighorn Fire in 2020, the Internet is not and cannot be the solution to real-time access to Tucson TV stations by rural southern Pinal County citizens.

Satellite TV Reform is a complex issue with many challenges. But a solution must be implemented now to allow DirecTV and Dish TV subscribers in southern Pinal County access to Tucson TV stations. After that, Phoenix and Tucson DMA stakeholders can then take the time necessary to work out contractual and financial details. Congress and the FCC must not continue to fail Arizona citizens while waiting for the next crisis that could be weeks, days, or hours away.

Contact me to learn more.

Mike Weasner
Satellite TV Reform Advocate
Supervisor Miller, I ask that you raise this critical issue with the Citizens Advisory Council and request their joint support and that of Congressman Ciscomani on the urgently needed County's effort on Satellite TV Reform.

I am available to personally address the issue with the Council if they need to know more about the impacts to southern Pinal County citizens. It is likely that none of the other members of the Council have direct experience with the harm being done by the flawed, dangerous, and unfair FCC DMA regulation.

Thank you.

Mike Weasner
Satellite TV Reform Advocate
Oracle, Arizona

24 February: I received this response from Supervisor Miller's office:

Thank you for contacting the Office of Pinal County Supervisor Stephen Q. Miller. Supervisor Miller is aware of the issue and we have expressed this concern to area congressional leaders.

Moving forward, this topic will be presented to Congressman Ciscomani  and the committee in a more concerted manner to push this concern to the FCC to take action.  Thank you for sharing your voice.

In other news, the Pinal County Board of Supervisors continues to work on a petition to the FCC for a "Market Area Modification". I hope to have a detailed update to report within the next two months.

DirecTV or Dish TV subscribers who live in southern Pinal County should continue to contact the Pinal County Supervisors about this critical issue that prohibits viewing the Tucson TV stations. The Board of Supervisors needs to hear from their constituents that an URGENT solution is needed. Here is contact information for the Board:

Supervisor Jeffrey McClure: bosdistrict4@pinal.gov
Supervisor Mike Goodman: mike.goodman@pinal.gov
Supervisor Stephen Miller: Stephen.Miller@pinal.gov
Supervisor Jeff Serdy: jeff.serdy@pinal.gov
Supervisor Kevin Cavanaugh: kevin.cavanaugh@pinal.gov
Pinal County Manager Leo Lew: countymanager@pinal.gov
Pinal County Clerk of the Board Natasha Kennedy: Natasha.Kennedy@pinalcountyaz.gov

Please cc me (mweasner@mac.com) on any emails you send. Thank you.

Stay tuned for further updates.

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Copyright ©2023 Michael L. Weasner / mweasner@mac.com
URL = http://www.weasner.com/STELA_FCC_DMA/PC_status_2023feb.html