The NAB tells the FCC that weakening exclusivity rules would cost local broadcasters ratings and revenue. The group cites a study showing a stations’ daylong ratings could drop by more than 16% if has to share programming.
The NAB is urging the FCC to keep exclusivity rules intact, saying a broadcaster’s right to air programming on an exclusive bases boosts both ratings and community investment.
In comments submitted Thursday as part of the commission’s reassessment of those rules, the NAB cited a study showing 10 TV stations in eight markets experienced a significant increase in ratings once they got exclusive rights to network and syndicated shows.
The study concluded that a TV station could experience a 16.3% swing in daylong ratings depending on whether it has exclusivity in its market. It also showed that stations that have exclusivity could expect primetime ratings 24% higher than those that don’t.
There are other benefits to exclusivity too, the NAB said, as higher ratings allow local broadcasters to charge more for ads, money that is then invested in local news and programming.
“Exclusivity rules are a lynchpin of the local broadcast business model and help sustain viewer access not only to high-quality network entertainment programming, but also to local news and lifeline information,” said the NAB’s Dennis Wharton. “The FCC should be mindful that changes to these rules would threaten the vibrancy of our uniquely free and local broadcast system.”