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H.R. 5035 (116th): Television Viewer Protection Act of 2019

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The summary below was written by the Congressional Research Service, which is a nonpartisan division of the Library of Congress, and was published on Dec 10, 2019.

Television Viewer Protection Act of 2019

This bill addresses provisions related to the retransmission of television-station signals and applies consumer-rights and transparency requirements to consumers' cable and satellite services.

Specifically, the bill makes permanent a provision that allows a multichannel video programming distributor (MVPD) to retransmit television-station signals directly to a home if the subscriber receiving the signal resides in an unserved household located outside the local market of such a station. The bill also allows an MVPD to designate a qualified MVPD buying group to negotiate on its behalf with large broadcast ownership groups regarding retransmission consent for broadcast programming.

Further, the bill requires that providers of internet, voice, mobile, data, and MVPD services (1) engage in transparent sales and e-billing, and (2) refrain from charging a consumer for using equipment not provided by the service provider.