New York City Council Header
File #: Res 1760-2017    Version: * Name: US Attorney General Jeff Sessions and the US Dept of Justice to consider the importance of independent programming on TV, such as Televisi¤în Dominicana, as the AT&T/ Time Warner merger is reviewed.
Type: Resolution Status: Filed (End of Session)
Committee: Committee on Technology
On agenda: 12/11/2017
Enactment date: Law number:
Title: Resolution calling on United States Attorney General Jeff Sessions and the United States Department of Justice to consider the importance of independent programming on TV, such as Televisi?n Dominicana, as the AT&T/ Time Warner merger is reviewed.
Sponsors: Rafael L. Espinal, Jr., Antonio Reynoso
Council Member Sponsors: 2
Attachments: 1. December 11, 2017 - Stated Meeting Agenda with Links to Files
Date Ver.Prime SponsorAction ByActionResultAction DetailsMeeting DetailsMultimedia
12/31/2017*Rafael L. Espinal, Jr. City Council Filed (End of Session)  Action details Meeting details Not available
12/11/2017*Rafael L. Espinal, Jr. City Council Referred to Comm by Council  Action details Meeting details Not available
12/11/2017*Rafael L. Espinal, Jr. City Council Introduced by Council  Action details Meeting details Not available

Res. No. 1760

 

Resolution calling on United States Attorney General Jeff Sessions and the United States Department of Justice to consider the importance of independent programming on TV, such as Televisiόn Dominicana, as the AT&T/ Time Warner merger is reviewed.

 

By Council Members Espinal and Reynoso

 

Whereas, AT&T is one of the largest internet and telephone providers in the United States; and

Whereas, In July 2015, AT&T acquired DIRECTV for approximately $50 billion and became one of the country’s biggest television distributors with over 26 million subscribers; and

Whereas, As part of the agreement, AT&T offered discounted broadband to low-income households, provided schools and libraries with more efficient broadband access and also agreed to adhere to the Federal Communications Commission’s stricter net neutrality obligations; and

Whereas, DIRECTV offered Televisiόn Dominicana, the eleventh highest watched Spanish language network that produced several shows in the New York and Boston areas and also served as an informational network for over 2.3 million Dominicans living in the United States, as well as 500,000 Dominicans living in Puerto Rico; and

Whereas, Televisiόn Dominicana offered nine hours per day of live news and talk shows directly from the Dominican Republic dealing with issues, such as immigrant families establishing new lives in the United States and also educating Dominican-Americans about Dominican culture, family and homeland; and

Whereas, In October 2016, it was announced that AT&T wanted to buy Time Warner in an $85 billion deal that would combine the largest telecom company with news and entertainment producers, such as HBO, TNT and CNN raising concern that one company would have too much authority over vital information sources; and

Whereas, Recently, DIRECTV removed Televisiόn Dominicana, its only channel that serves the Dominican community, while AT&T was seeking approval to acquire Time Warner; and

Whereas, Also, Televisiόn Dominicana was removed only a few days before Hurricane Irma struck the Dominican Republic leaving many Dominican subscribers without important news and updates regarding the hurricane as it developed; and

Whereas, In 2015, DIRECTTV also removed Yaveo, a Spanish-language service that provided programming from Latin America and Spain and in 2016, DIRECTV temporarily removed most of Univision Communications networks, the country’s largest Spanish-language media company during disputes over programming fees; and

Whereas, Televisiόn Dominicana’s removal has caused outrage amongst Hispanic leaders and the Hispanic community; and

Whereas, Furthermore, the proposed merger between AT&T and Time Warner have many elected officials and the public concerned that independent programming, such as Televisiόn Dominicana will not have any protections under a merger between the two largest media corporations in the country; and

Whereas, In November 2017, the United States Department of Justice filed a lawsuit to block the merger in order to protect consumers and maintain an array of media and telecommunication outlets now, therefore, be it

Resolved, That the Council of the City of New York calls on United States Attorney General Jeff Sessions and the United States Department of Justice to consider the importance of independent programming on TV, such as Televisiόn Dominicana, as the AT&T/ Time Warner merger is reviewed.

 

 

PM

LS# 11919

12/6/2017