Retransmission Consent Reform - Broadcasters vs Cable-Broadband

Jason Fritz

Administrator
Staff member
#1
With the oncoming battle looming for retransmission consent reform, NAB launched Keepmytv.org, located here in response to cable/telco/broadband co's Americantelevisionalliance.org located, here.

Cable/Telco/Broadband is basically arguing that retransmission consent needs to be reformed because broadcaster's increasing demands for retrans consent fees are driving up costs for providing pay TV service.

What say you?
 

bicker

DTVUSA Member
#2
Cable/Telco/Broadband is basically arguing that retransmission consent needs to be reformed because broadcaster's increasing demands for retrans consent fees are driving up costs for providing pay TV service. What say you?
If fees drive costs up too far, then cable companies can stop paying them and do without those broadcaster channels on their service. Cable companies can even turn the tables on broadcasters if they wish, by essentially sending out a big flashy missive to their subscribers asking them to vote, either for keeping ABC (for example) and adding a $X surcharge to everyone's bill, or for dumping ABC and not adding that surcharge. Once cable companies start reflecting the cost of retransmission consent in what subscribers are paying, the pressure will be shifted to the broadcasters demanding those fees. Cable companies shouldn't be given a hall pass on this. They should be required to engage the marketplace fairly, without being coddled by the government, and therefore participate in retransmission consent negotiations without there being artificial restrictions imposed on broadcasters.
 

Chips

DTVUSA Member
#3
Cable/Telco/Broadband is basically arguing that retransmission consent needs to be reformed because broadcaster's increasing demands for retrans consent fees are driving up costs for providing pay TV service.

What say you?
Let them battle it out. If you want to complain about OTA retransmission fees and the same should apply to Cable Networks. For example Time Warner Cable is more then willing to tell what I will have pay on a monthly bill for them to carry the local LIN stations, but they don't tell me how much I pay on the same monthly bill for TNT, CNN and TCM (which they owned) and their regional news network. It is rumored that TWC customers pay over $1.00 a month for TNT, but who knows. TWC also gets local and network advertising dollars for the same stations. If the FCC wants to get involve, let them make it mandatory for the cable bill to broke down line for line as to fees for channels.
 

Tim58hsv

DTVUSA Member
#5
The way I see it the ota channels affiliated with NBC, CBS, FOX, and ABC have the pay tv companies by the proverbial balls since those stations carry the most popular shows. A pay tv company may be able to get by with dropping one of those networks for a short time, but drop two or more at the same time?

People would resort to purchasing an ota antenna to view their favorite shows and in the process discover today's ota reception and many of them will be saying "bye bye cable."

Pay tv needs to work out better deals with their affiliates that have nowhere else to go and accept the fact that they're being held prisoner by free tv. Too bad for them.
 

bicker

DTVUSA Member
#6
One thing that broadcasters do offer their most popular programs online, thereby providing another means of obtaining video programming. In addition, studios offer their most popular programs on disc, which provides yet another alternative.
 

n2rj

Moderator
Staff member
#7
The way I see it the ota channels affiliated with NBC, CBS, FOX, and ABC have the pay tv companies by the proverbial balls since those stations carry the most popular shows.
Any business should strive to provide a product that people want, and the networks are doing just that. And since it's a product that people want, it's fair for them to negotiate payment for their work. After all, the cable companies make a lot of money from people who primarily watch the big 4.

So having them by the balls is not really accurate. It's more like they made a desirable product that (some) cable companies don't want to pay for.
 

FOX TV

Contributor
#8
Any business should strive to provide a product that people want, and the networks are doing just that. And since it's a product that people want, it's fair for them to negotiate payment for their work. After all, the cable companies make a lot of money from people who primarily watch the big 4.

So having them by the balls is not really accurate. It's more like they made a desirable product that (some) cable companies don't want to pay for.
That may be partially true, but the FCC and congress has the left ball in their hands all the time too, and nothing gets approved unless they say so. It is not fair to blame the networks for providing quality programming that people want to watch, even if a lot of the programing is mindless dribble. Mindless dribble sells in prime time, and the market decides what is popular, not the networks themselves. Mindless dribblers demand mindless programming.
 

Tim58hsv

DTVUSA Member
#10
Back in 2008 our local NBC affiliate WDTN was in a contract dispute with Time Warner cable over retrans fees and WDTN ended up being dropped from TW for a time. Pretty gutsy move on TW's part since WDTN was and still is #2 in the Dayton market. Slime Warner knew they'd have some angry customers so to pacify them they stuck HBO Family in it's place (pretty good move on TW's part but I doubt it did much to pacify the football fans). Anyway. after being off TW for four weeks the dispute was settled just in time for the November sweeps and all was right with the world again.

What terms they came to were never revealed but it would be safe to assume that WDTN got less than they were asking for due to their need to be back on Slime Warner cable in time for the november sweeps. It would also be safe to say that Slime Warner was full of it when they argued they shouldn't have to pay ota channels anything since those channels are free to view over the air. I could agree with that if they were giving the channels away for free but since Slime Warner is selling those broadcast...
 

dave73

DTVUSA Member
#11
If I could have the local channels removed from my cable service in the future (if I decide to get cable for satellite), then I would ask for all local channels to be removed. My local Comcast doesn't even carry the subchannels of any local TV station (with the exception of WCIU, because technically, WCIU also has MeTV & MeToo on their subchannels, but MeTV & MeToo are on low power stations). Across the street is another Comcast service area, and all subchannels are on the digital tier, and cost extra. The locals in HD are also in the digital tier. As for Dish network & DirecTV, they only carry the main local channels, but avoid the subchannels (except for MeTV). Either way, I still need the outdoor antenna for channels that both cable & satellite don't carry, because subchannels aren't included in the must carry, and my local Comcast chooses not to carry the subchannels. I have to have WTTW Prime & Create from WTTW & the occasional Livewell HD from WLS-TV
 

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