Standard General, Apollo General and Tegna have pledged to the Federal Communications Commission that they will not jointly negotiate or share information on retransmission consent after their proposed merger-station swap, but that’s not enough for ACA Connects and the other members of the American Television Alliance (ATVA). They want conditions on the deal and an enforcement mechanism.
Broadcasters and cable operators continue to spar over how much flexibility TV stations should have in transmitting their signals in the transition to the new ATSC 3.0 standard, specifically broadcasters’ ability to have another station transmit its digital subchannels. The idea is to ease the transition from ATSC 1.0 to the ATSC 3.0 transmission standard, also known as NextGen TV, which is not backward compatible.
Cable and satellite operators said they aren’t looking to prevent broadcasters in “truly short” smaller markets — ones that lack a full complement of affiliated stations — from affiliating with two of the top 4-rated TV networks in the market, but said broadcasters are stretching the definition of “short” to conceivably include markets like Boston.
The American Television Alliance said the FCC was right to propose fining Gray Television a half-million dollars for violating, as the FCC alleged, the commission’s local ownership rules. The commission, for the first time, has proposed fining an affiliation purchase for resulting in what it said was a violation of its prohibition on owning two of the top-four rated TV stations in a market.
The organization cites five times that Cox Media has pulled stations just ahead of the big game.
The American Television Alliance wants the FCC to require broadcasters using the new ATSC 3.0 broadcast transmission standard to deliver an HD version of their primary broadcast signal before using any of its spectrum for ancillary or supplementary services. That came in comments to the FCC as it decides on the framework for “Promoting Broadcast Internet Innovation Through ATSC 3.0.”
The American Television Alliance (ATVA) is using the Nextar/DirecTV retrans impasse to pitch Congress on renewing STELAR, the satellite license law that also includes requiring the FCC to enforce good faith negotiations in retrans disputes.
The American Television Alliance tells the FCC that Gray Television shouldn’t be allowed to buy KDLT because it already owns KSFY in the South Dakota market and duopoly ownership of two top-four affiliates would give Gray too much retrans negotiating power.
While the American TV Alliance says retrans is “totally rigged” in favor of the broadcasters, the broadcasters target AT&T for “greed that has led it to cannibalize its own [U-Verse] service and mistreat its own customers.” AT&T also owns DirecTV.
Senators Deb Fischer (R-Neb.) and Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) want to know specific reasons for CBS radio stations’ rejection of an ad by the American Television Alliance.