ARVC is asking all its members to join this grassroots movement that is asking members of Congress to reauthorize the Satellite Act and renew Section 119 — an exception that has been in place since 1999, which allows satellite companies to provide such consumers with out-of-market network programming.
If Congress does nothing or chooses to not reauthorize, starting on Jan. 1, it would be difficult or impossible for RVers to receive programming from the big four broadcast networks — ABC, NBC, CBS and Fox — via satellite.
To support this effort, you can contact your representatives and senators using a form found HERE to tell them to reauthorize the Satellite Act and renew Section 119.
Filling out the form will go a long way in supporting everyone in the camping community.
“It only takes a minute to help your customers, but it will make a big impact for all of our customers if this exception is renewed,” says David L. Berg, owner of ARVC-member park Red Apple Campground in Kennebunkport, Maine, who serves on the ARVC Public Affairs Committee and is the at-large representative of the ARVC Board of Directors. “I feel we need do this for them, and it is something that is very important for the entire outdoor hospitality industry.”
The industry coalition, consisting of ARVC, the RV Industry Association, the RV Dealers Association, the Family Motor Coach Association and the Escapees RV Club, have been calling on legislators for months to reauthorize the Satellite Act and renew Section 119, including writing a letter to Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Lindsey Graham, R-SC, and Ranking Democratic Member Dianne Feinstein, D-CA.
Although it may be unfamiliar to many RVers who use satellite providers, Section 119 provides the narrow copyright law exemption that makes it possible for RVers to access their favorite TV programming regardless of where they happen to be traveling. Without this exemption, it would be a violation of copyright law for a satellite provider to allow an RVer to access a New York broadcast while camping at remote national park in a different market.
But through the establishment and regular reauthorization of Section 119, Congress has recognized that providing local signals via satellite to RVers in every market into which they travel is impractical, both technically, and from the standpoint of clearing the rights.
RVers represent a unique segment of the population who regularly travel to areas where broadcast signals to watch television over-the-air are not available or where the wireless broadband to receive over-the-top services such as Nextflix and Hulu are also not available. If Congress fails to reauthorize Section 119, these RVers will lose access to the network signals resulting in a negative impact on quality of life, safety and security for the millions of RVers who rely on this law.
Interested in learning more about important legislation in your state and nationally?
ARVC members can stay up to date on ARVC’s advocacy updates by logging in at https://www.arvc.org/Current-Legislation.