NAB says the FCC should reject pay television’s “unlawful and unneeded” retransmission consent proposals.
In strongly worded comments to the agency on this issue, the broadcast trade lobby said only by quickly closing this proceeding examining the “totality of circumstances” of what constitutes “good faith” retransmission consent negotiations will the FCC help viewers.
NAB contends proposals submitted by the pay TV industry restrict television owners’ ability to fairly negotiate retransmission consent, and they fall outside the FCC’s “limited” legal authority and would provide no benefit to consumers.
The commission’s current totality of circumstances test is sufficient to encourage fair negotiations between broadcasters and pay TV providers over retransmission consent, according to NAB, which adds that “only a small handful of good faith negotiation complaints have ever been filed, and no broadcaster has ever been found to have violated good faith.”
The FCC’s proceeding, however, has encouraged pay TV providers to advocate for government intervention in the free market in order to tilt the negotiating table in their favor, stresses NAB: “For the multichannel video programming distributors this proceeding is solely about encouraging government intervention in the marketplace.”