The MVPDs are pushing the Local Choice alternative to retransmission consent in the pending STELAR home satellite renewal legislation as it did in 2014. So, TVNewsCheck is posting broadcast attorney Jack Goodman’s 1,564-word argument against the proposal as it did in 2014.
American Cable Association President Matthew Polka: “The arrival of CBS All Access means at least two positive developments: The forces in favor of consumer choice have won the debate and critics like TVFreedom need to find a new agenda because it is impossible for broadcasters to explain how it’s possible to be ‘just a little a la carte.’ “
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.
The retrans reform proposal for a la carte channel selection is removed from the Satellite Television Access and Viewer Rights Act. NAB applauds the decision, saying: “NAB is thankful for the consideration Senate Commerce Committee members gave the ‘Local Choice’ proposal and for recognizing the unintended negative consequences this measure would have had on localism, broadcasters and our millions of viewers.”
The “Local Choice” proposal by Sens. Jay Rockefeller and John Thune to let cable and satellite customers choose which broadcast TV channels they pay for has led to a battle between small cable companies and broadcasters. While cable companies usually are opponents of mandates to sell channels individually instead of in bundles, in this case they are fighting for à la carte and against the broadcasters.
CBS radio stations around the country have refused to air a new ad from the American Television Alliance that supports the retrans reform proposal called “local choice” that was recently proposed by Sens. Jay Rockefeller and John Thune.
The 50 state groups tell Sens. Jay Rockefeller and John Thune that their retrans reform proposal creating a broadcast-only a la carte system of payment by cable subs “will diminish broadcast localism and harm consumers without actually providing consumers meaningful choice or meaningful cost savings [and] will likely become the slippery ‘a la carte’ slope that broadly upsets a vibrant and functioning video marketplace.”
The latest retrans reform plan advocating an a la carte system of payment by cable subs for broadcast channels would harm broadcasters and I’m not sure it benefits anybody other than some small cable operators. A better solution is for Congress to pass a law saying that if pay TV operators and broadcasters cannot agree on a retrans fee, the matter would be settled by so-called pendulum arbitration — just like in baseball.
Sens. Rockefeller and Thune’s “Local Choice” retrans reform proposal allowing the à la carte sale of channels to cable and MVPD customers would affect consumers, broadcasters, MVPDs and cable program suppliers and policy makers. Here’s how.
Their “Local Choice” plan would, in effect, let cable and satellite customers order TV stations on an a la carte basis, paying the stations’ price, thereby eliminating the retrans negotiation process.