NAB urges FCC to proceed with caution when defining MVPDs


NAB / National Association of BroadcastersThe National Association of Broadcasters says it is fully supportive of competition in the MVPD universe and welcomes new online entrants into the business. But the implications for broadcasters could be serious, and the issue requires thoughtful consideration.

The issue, wrote NAB, “could have “profound” and “far-reaching” implications…For this reason, we urge the Commission to fully explore and understand the potential ramifications before reaching any conclusions.”

NAB said the Commission had it right when it said the definition is part of a “mosaic” with far-reaching ramifications involving all aspects of the business.

NAB said it was generally in favor of competition, and said broadcasters could benefit from carriage on new services.

NAB stated in no uncertain terms, “To achieve these public policy objectives, it is important that new services not be permitted to expropriate broadcast signals at will. Broadcasters must continue to have the right to control the distribution of their signals over the Internet and to obtain compensation from broadband video service providers seeking to retransmit such signals. With these rights in hand, local stations will be able to continue making the substantial investments needed to offer high-quality, costly programming, including news, and to enhance their HD, multicast, and other current and future service offerings. In the end, it is consumers that will benefit by receiving a greater variety of programming, including local programming, from broadcast stations via a broadband service provider.”

NAB concluded, “Broadcasters see great potential in the development of broadband video services to increase competition in the MVPD marketplace, thereby benefiting consumers, broadcasters and other program providers. However, the deployment of such services must include long-standing policies that have successfully promoted competition and diversity in the video market for many years. The Commission’s analysis of the issues raised in the Notice must take these considerations into account.”

NAB’s Jane E. Mago signed off on the submission.

RBR-TVBR observation: The last thing broadcasters need is to see hard-won rights swept away by a class of upstart newcomers. Since to this day, television broadcasters are the lone players in the audio-visual space to invest heavily in critical local content, it should be an FCC policy imperative to see that local broadcast content is protected.