Flawed, dangerous, unfair Satellite TV Regulation

Local lives put at risk and local businesses harmed

Updated: 28 February 2023

When Laurraine and I moved to Oracle, Arizona, in 2009 we were surprised to learn that the Federal Government prohibited us from watching the Tucson TV stations (30 miles away) via a satellite TV provider. Instead the Government required that we only receive the Phoenix TV stations (about 120 miles away). That meant we could not view the nearest TV stations with their local news, weather, sports, advertising, and local emergency information.

We tolerated the flawed Federal legislation for a few years, but in 2013 I began working to get Congress to fix the flawed, dangerous, and unfair "Satellite Television Extension and Localism Act" (STELA) legislation that it created. DirecTV and Dish TV must comply with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Designated Market Area (DMA) regulation that puts all of Pinal County in the Phoenix TV market area. Over the years I have written many letters and emails to elected officials, TV station managers, and others in my efforts to get Congress to stop putting local lives at risk and harming local businesses by enacting a "Market Area Modification" for southern Pinal County, Arizona. Unfortunately, our Federal Government has continued to fail the citizens of southern Arizona and not enacted necessary change, even with two local serious crises in 2020. The issue is not specific to southern Pinal County, Arizona. It also affects several other locations in the United States. The next crisis could be weeks, days, or hours away. Congress and the FCC must not continue to fail American citizens.

I have become the Pinal County "point person" on this issue. To broaden awareness, this blog documents the issue, my efforts, and any results. Updates will be posted as appropriate.

My initial efforts to get Congress to fix STELA 2013-2014
Pinal County Government gets involved 2015-2017
Our Congressman is embarrassed in Oracle 2018-2019
I am proved right - Lives are being put at risk January-June 2020
COVID-19 pandemic and Bighorn Fire crises not serious enough for the Government to act July 2020
I significantly increase my efforts to get Congress to act responsibly August-September 2020
Looking at Legal Options October 2020
Phone Calls to Congress, Washington Post Op-Ed November 2020
Wasted Time and Lost Opportunity in 2020 thanks to Our Congressman December 2020
STELA fiasco thanks to Congress and the FCC January 2021
Pinal County working to get changes in Federal Legislation February 2021
Pinal County working behind the scenes March 2021
Another Wildfire, Another Day of Congress Putting Lives at Risk April 2021
Legal Actions Pursued against Congress STELA Legislation May 2021
Members of Congress incapable of understanding local TV dangers they created June 2021
STELA Reform Coalition efforts July 2021
Pursuing Unconstitutionality of STELA Legislation August 2021
The illogic of STELA law and some lawyers September 2021
Failure of our elected officials in Washington to comprehend a serious local issue October 2021
Arizona State Legislature support November 2021
A New Plan is Formulated December 2021
Community Meeting on Satellite TV Reform January 2022
Pinal County Board of Supervisors meeting - 23 February 2022 February 2022
Pinal County Board of Supervisors FCC Petition Status? March 2022
Pinal County Board of Supervisors moves slowly; is still investigating the issue April 2022
Pinal County Supervisors meet with Citizens May 2022
Important Recent News for southern Pinal County Satellite TV Subscribers June 2022
Status of FCC Television "Market Area Modification" for southern Pinal County July 2022
Pinal County Supervisor meets with Local Citizens, some progress reported August 2022
Pinal County Supervisor update to Local Citizens September 2022
Emergency Alert System fails due to flawed FCC DMA December 2022
Governmental Actions, or the Lack Thereof January 2023
Some progress being made, more progress needed [NEW! February 2023

I welcome any suggestions and support for this effort. Please contact me at mweasner@mac.com.

Read my Short Biography to learn more about me.

Copyright ©2020-23 Michael L. Weasner / mweasner@mac.com
URL = http://www.weasner.com/STELA_FCC_DMA/index.html