NAB Launches Its Own Retrans Web Site
August 17, 2010
WASHINGTON: The National Association
of Broadcasters launched a new Web site today in response to another created by
pay TV operators calling for retransmission consent reform. The NAB’s, targets consumers, much the same as the
site recently launched by the KeepMyTV.org American Television
The NAB said its new site is “aimed at educating and empowering viewers during
carriage negotiations between broadcast TV stations and pay-TV providers.”
The site itself asks in headline-sized type, “What if your pay TV company no
longer carried your favorite broadcast channels?” It notes that “98.5 percent
of the highest-rated shows are on broadcast TV.”
The ATVA in turn blames broadcasters for pulling local signals. The coalition
behind the ATVA--including AT&T, Time Warner CAble, Verizon and a host of
smaller carriers and content networks--are petitioning regulators and lawmakers
to change retransmission consent rules. Specifically, they want continued
access to local broadcast signals after retransmission contracts for them end,
and while new contracts are being hammered out.
Those negotiations are often contentious, and there have been a few instances
of brief signal black-outs. Most of the time, however, threatened black-outs
are an unrealized negotiating tactic. That hasn’t stopped some lawmakers from
calling for reform. The histrionics are sure to gain volume as the carriage
agreement between Time Warner Cable and Disney approaches expiration. Their
current agreement expires Sept. 2.
The NAB’s Web site includes instructions for buying an antenna to receive
over-the-air any station that might be pulled from a pay TV system.
-- Deborah D. McAdams
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