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MVPDs’ Retrans Complaints Have Little Merit, NAB Tells FCC

(Image credit: NAB) WASHINGTON—MVPDs’ arguments that broadcasters have undue bargaining power when it comes to retransmission consent negotiations hold little water, according to the NAB in comments filed to the FCC. In addition, the organization said that the FCC should apply ownership limits to MVPDs’ multicast streams and to LPTV stations. This all came in as a response to reply comments on the FCC’s request for input on the upcoming Communications Marketplace Report on the state of media competition that will be given to Congress. PLUS: ATVA: Retrans Disputes Top Problems of Broadcast CompetitionNAB said that the complaints from MVPDs regarding retransmission consent have been used multiple times, but still have no bearing on the need to reform local TV ownership rules. “As NAB has explained innumerable times, MVPDs’ unhappiness about paying retransmission consent fees does not mean that TV broadcasters have any undue bargaining power over MVPDs; that those fees are, in any economic sense, too high; or that changes to FCC rules intended to enhance large pay-TV/broadband companies’ position at the negotiating table are in any way justified,” the NAB filing reads. Rather, NAB makes the case that because of the coronavirus pandemic that has impacted broadcasters with a blow to the advertising market and local TV station revenue, the need for broadcasters to form competitively viable ownership structures so that they can continue to serve their local communities has been confirmed.

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