On Tuesday, Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy (D-VT) joined ranking Judiciary Committee member Chuck Grassley (R-IA) in introducing narrowly-tailored legislation that extends the  2010 Satellite Television Extension and Localism Act (STELA) for five years beyond its December 2014 expiration date. Described by sources as a “clean” bill, the Senate measure differs considerably from STELA reauthorization legislation (HR 4572) that was approved last month by the House Energy and Commerce Committee. In addition to extending STELA compulsory licensing provisions through the end of 2019, the House bill also includes a slate of other measures that, among other things, prohibit television broadcasters in the same market from jointly negotiating retransmission consent deals with multichannel video program distributors (MVPDs) and require TV broadcasters that are parties to joint sales agreements to disband such  agreements by December  31, 2016. Prior to STELA’s enactment in the spring of 2010, partisan disagreements over the contents of the bill resulted in Congress missing the December 2009 deadline for renewing direct broadcast satellite retransmission rights that are covered by the compulsory license. (To prevent disruptions in consumer service, lawmakers agreed at that time to extend temporarily the expired compulsory licensing provisions pending STELA’s adoption.) Admitting that his narrowly-tailored bill “may not please all stakeholders,” Leahy explained that “my focus is on the consumers who stand to lose access to broadcast television content in the event Congress is unable to pass a bill by the end of the year.” In a press statement, National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) President Gordon Smith endorsed the approach taken by Leahy and Grassley as he applauded the Senate bill as one that “ensures . . . communities across America will continue to benefit from local broadcast television” and “enables the satellite industry to serve rural America without undermining consumers’ uniquely free over-the-air access to broadcast programming.” Countering, however, that “there has never been a ‘clean’ version of STELA because our video laws cannot keep up with changing technology,” a spokesman for the American Television Alliance which represents cable and satellite MPVDs told reporters that his organization “[looks] forward to working with all four House and Senate committees of jurisdiction,” emphasizing: “the retransmission consent system is now more broken than ever, and STELA is the best opportunity to help provide consumers with relief from skyrocketing retrans fees and blackouts.”