Members of the U.S. House of Representatives have adopted, by voice vote, legislation that would extend the compulsory licensing provisions of the 2010 Satellite Television Extension and Localism Act for five years beyond their current expiration date of December 31, 2014. The STELA Reauthorization Act (H.R. 4572) combines a House Judiciary Committee measure that merely extends current STELA provisions with a House Energy and Commerce Committee bill that mandates various reforms to the retransmission consent process. In addition to extending the compulsory satellite license through the end of 2019, the bill approved on Tuesday would, among other things, (1) bar television broadcasters in the same market from jointly negotiating retransmission consent deals with multichannel video program distributors, (2) require TV broadcasters that are parties to joint sales agreements to disband such agreements by December 31, 2016, and (3) prohibit cable operators during Nielsen sweep periods from dropping broadcast station signals that are involved in retransmission disputes. In remarks on the House floor, House Communications Subcommittee Chairman Greg Walden (R-OR) touted the bipartisan vote as “another example of working together” which has “long been the hallmark of our subcommittee and the full [Energy and Commerce] Committee.” Proclaiming that the legislation “ensures continuity of service to more than 1.5 million distant signal customers who would, otherwise, lose service at the end of this year,” direct broadcast satellite competitors DirecTV and DISH Network jointly praised the bill as one that “addresses one of the most egregious forms of retransmission consent abuse—joint negotiating agreements among broadcasters.” The measure now moves to the Senate where Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-VT) introduced narrowly-tailored legislation last month that would do nothing more than extend current STELA provisions for another five years. Confirming that negotiations have begun, Senate Commerce Committee Chairman Jay Rockefeller (D-WV) and ranking committee member John Thune (R-SD) told reporters that the committee will take up the legislation at the conclusion of the August congressional recess.