NCTA Offers Edits For Standard General-Tegna Deal Conditions

Cable operators say various commitments made by Standard General to address their concerns about its deal to acquire station group Tegna need to be modified and expanded before the FCC considers signing off on the $8 billion-plus merger. NCTA–The Internet & Television Association has signaled to the FCC in comments on those commitments that while Standard General was close to addressing NCTA’s concerns, it was not ready to hand out cigars.

NCTA: FCC Must Maintain TV Simulcast Mandate

Cable operators are telling the FCC that it should continue to require broadcasters transitioning to ATSC 3.0 to deliver a signal in the current ATSC 1.0 standard, and that the programming on that signal must still be substantially similar to their ATSC 3.0 signal.

NCTA Decries Kids TV Regulatory Disparity With OTT

For several years now cable operators have been arguing that the FCC needs to recognize the shift in children’s video consumption from “‘traditional linear television’ to unregulated online programming,” and deregulate accordingly. The 1990 Children’s Television Act set limits on ads in children’s programming and the FCC in 2004 limited the display of website addresses during children’s programming. NCTA told the FCC this week, as it did back in 2018, that it was time to eliminate those restrictions.

NCTA Seeks FCC Retrans Conditions On Standard General-Tegna

NCTA-The Internet & Television Association, said it has no problem with the FCC approving the Standard General-Tegna deal, but only if the commission imposes binding conditions that hold the companies and their deal financing partner — Apollo Global Management/Cox Media Group, to their pledge that they would not strike TV station sharing arrangements or sidecar deals post-merger.

NCTA: Broadcasters Have No Case Against Repurposing 6 GHz For WiFi

Cable operators said complaints from broadcasters about opening up the 6 GHz spectrum band for WiFi are “unfounded … untimely, unsubstantiated and irrelevant.” NCTA–The Internet & Television Association made that argument in comments to the FCC on June 10 regarding unlicensed use of that band, comments prompted by a court remand of one part of the FCC’s unanimous April 2020 decision to allow the entire 1,200 Megahertz of the 6-GHz band to be shared with unlicensed WiFi.

CTAM Honors NCTA’s Rob Stoddard With Beacon Award

NCTA: Cable Economic Impact Nears Half-Trillion Dollars

The economic impact of cable on the U.S. economy in 2020 approached a half-trillion dollars, according to a new impact report. The report, commissioned by NCTA-the Internet & Television Association, looked at “the direct and indirect impact of the cable operator industry on employment, personal income and gross output in 2020” and concluded it was approximately $460 billion and accounted for over 2.9 million jobs.

NCTA’s Rob Stoddard Retiring

Rob Stoddard, senior VP of industry and association affairs at NCTA-the Internet & Television Association, is retiring after two decades at the association. Stoddard told staffers that he would be leaving Jan. 3, 2022.

NCTA Expands Government Relations Team

NCTA-the Internet & Television Association has bolstered its government affairs team, including adding some Democratic firepower in a town where the White House, both houses of Congress, and the FCC, are all under Democratic control. The new faces: Timothy Graham, Alex Minard and Kelsey Odom

NCTA: FCC Should Ban Joint ‘Broadcast Internet’ Carriage Negotiations

Cable operators are telling the FCC that retrans regulations should apply to carriage negotiations that include ancillary “broadcast internet” services. That came in comments by NCTA-The Internet & Television Association on the FCC’s inquiry into what, if any, rules need to be changed to accommodate broadcaster’s potential new multichannel services using the ATSC 3.0 transmission standard.

NCTA Backs Fox News in WashLITE Lawsuit

The National Cable & Telecommunications Association, whose members include the owners of CNN, MSNBC, ABC News, and CBS News, has joined the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press to support Fox News in its defense of a lawsuit filed by a group, WashLITE, critical of Fox News/Fox Business Network commentary on the coronavirus. WashLITE said that commentary is deceptive commercial speech in violation of consumer protection laws.

NCTA Backs NAB FCC Challenge

Cable operators are on the same page as broadcasters when it comes to the FCC’s approach to political ad disclosures.

Cable Joins Push To Block Drug Price Disclosure

The cable industry’s lobbying group, NCTA, is siding with the Association of National Advertisers and pharmaceutical companies in their attempt to invalidate a new regulation requiring video ads for prescription drugs to include their list price.

TV Content Ratings Board Reconnects Phone Line

Viewers can once again dial the TV Parental Guidelines Monitoring Board if they have an issue with how a TV show is rated for content.

NCTA Wants FCC To Tighten Big-Four Ban

The cable trade association says the commission should not only retain its ban on the common ownership of two full-power Big Four network affiliates in the same market, but should also close a “loophole” that allows affiliates to double up by carrying Big Four programming on low-power stations and multicast streams. NCTA such deals give broadcasters an unfair advantage during retrans negotiations.

Broadcasters, DBS Battle Over Carriage At FCC


Broadcasters and satellite operators are at odds over who would be burdening whom under a new carriage election proposal the FCC is considering. The NAB and NCTA have joined in proposing changes to the carriage election — must carry or retrans — process, which the FCC is looking to streamline as part of FCC Chairman Ajit Pai’s deregulatory weed-whacking initiative.

NCTA Asks FCC To Condition Nexstar-Tribune

NCTA-The Internet & Television Association said the FCC will need to put conditions on the merger of Nexstar and Tribune, otherwise the deal runs a ” material risk of consumer and competitive harm.” NCTA is primarily concerned about the impact of the merged broadcast group on retrans rates.

FCC Seeks Comment On Retrans Compromise

No, broadcasters and cable operators have not agreed that either the must-carry/retrans regime is still good law (broadcasters) or an anachronistic thumb on the competitive scale (cable), but the FCC has sought comment on a joint proposal by both those camps for updating how TV stations notify MVPDs of whether they are electing either mandatory carriage (must carry) or will try to negotiate a fee for MVPD carriage of their signals (retransmission consent), with the possibility of losing carriage if they can’t strike a deal.

Altice USA No Longer Part Of NCTA


NCTA: Gray Hasn’t Made Case For Duopoly

Cable operators not looking for a boost in broadcaster retrans leverage have told the FCC that Gray Television has not made a case for being allowed to own two of the top four stations in Honolulu. Gray is seeking to retain both stations in its deal to buy another high-rated station in the market. Gray in June struck a deal, subject to FCC approval, to buy Raycom for $3.6 billion.

NCTA Extends Powell’s Contract For 3 Years

The NCTA and the cable industry have gone from “relentless government assault” to seemingly bottomless regulatory deconstruction in just 21 months. With this probably in mind, the cable industry lobbying org has extended the contract of CEO and President Michael Powell for three more years. Powell is a former FCC chairman, a Bill Clinton appointee, who joined the NCTA in 2011.

NCTA Wants Conditions On Sinclair-Tribune

The trade group tells the FCC that the merged entity should be given restrictions on its ability to negotiate for retransmission consent fees as well as be forced to comply with existing media ownership limits, not “hoped-for” relaxed ownership limits.

Cable Urges FCC To Use Caution On ATSC 3.0

When it comes to broadcasters’ proposed “Next Generation” standard, some of the stuff coming out of the FCC docket is akin to “that was then, this is now,” NCTA alleges. The standard, known as ATSC 3.0, is touted by broadcasters as capable of 4K, enhanced emergency alerts and mobile video. But cable has been increasingly worried that despite the FCC seeking a “voluntary” approach, it could impact operators and independent networks’ ability to fairly compete.

NCTA Board To Examine Cable Organizations

A committee from NCTA’s board, led by Comcast’s David Cohen and Advance Newhouse CEO Steve Miron, is gearing up to launch a survey and study of the cable industry’s various groups, such as WICT, The Cable Center and CTAM. The survey may be disseminated as soon as this week.

NCTA’s Gearing Up For April Event In DC

NCTA To FCC: Waive Closed Captioning Rules

The NCTA has asked the FCC to make it clear that pay TV operators are not responsible for seeking closed-captioning registration or compliance certification for every show that runs on each programming network.

NCTA To Scrap Annual Trade Show

It’s the end of an era for cable TV: The industry’s biggest trade group — recently renamed NCTA – The Internet & Television Association — said Wednesday that it will stop sponsoring INTX, the annual gathering that was a must-go for industry moguls for decades when it was known as The Cable Show.

NCTA Adds Internet, Keeps Initials

The cable trade group rebrands as NCTA – The Internet & Television Association. “We’ve changed our look but our mission remains the same,” it says, adding that the new brand “projects unity, partnership and energy.” 


NCTA, MPAA Slam FCC’s Set-Top Do-Over

INTX Slotted For Same Week As ’17 NAB Show

The National Cable Telecommunications Association plans to conduct INTX from Wednesday, April 26, through Friday, April 28, next year in Washington. That’s in direct conflict with the NAB’s plan to hold the NAB Show from Saturday, April 22, through Thursday, April 27, in Las Vegas.

Cable Seeks Protections In ATSC 3.0 Rollout

NCTA tells the FCC that any new rules should not require cable systems to carry 3.0 signals during the transition from the current DTV system to 3.0. The trade group also says systems should not be burdened with new carriage obligations or costs and the host station should be required to broadcast in HD.


Powell: Cable Under Regulatory Assault

Michael Powell, a former FCC chairman and currently head of the cable industry’s biggest lobbying group, is frustrated. Cable companies have been “increasingly saddled with heavy rules without any compelling evidence of harm to consumers or competitors,” he said at NCTA’s trade show last week in Boston. Here, he talks about the issues facing the cable industry and offers his candid views on the FCC, as well as his thoughts on the presidential campaign.

Comcast And NCTA Blast FCC’s STB Plan

In one of the most all-out offensives launched at the FCC’s “Unlock the Box” set-top regulatory proposal, Comcast and the NCTA each filed searing reply commentary to the agency. A day after AT&T referred to the NPRM as a “radical unbundling scheme,” the National Cable Telecommunications Association ramped up the rhetoric even further, calling the proposal a “radial re-invention of the video marketplace.”

INTX 2016

Powell Blasts FCC Policies In INTX Opener

NCTA President-CEO Michael Powell, in the opening INTX keynote in Boston, lauded the cable industry’s shift into “high gear” in innovation and change during a “transformative period,” but held fast to his view that Washington regulators are stifling that progress through dramatic policy changes.


FCC’s STB Plan Has Big Potential To Disrupt

The commission (read Chairman Tom Wheeler) wants to let third parties (read Google) offer cable and satellite subscribers alternatives to the system-supplied set-top boxes, claiming that would protect consumers from egregious monthly rental fees. Both broadcasters and cable have raised legitimate objections to the idea, arguing that it could disrupt the current broadcasting-cable ecosystem in many harmful ways. Let’s hope the clock runs out on Wheeler.

Cable Ready To Sue Over FCC’s STB Plan

It’s safe to say that if the FCC moves forward with its set-top box proposal, which seeks to open up the set-top market to third-party vendors, cable will sue. In separate media briefings Thursday, both NCTA and ACA executives made it clear that they won’t hesitate to take the commission to court.


Programmers Wary Of FCC’s Set-Top Plan

If consumers are able to replace the set-tops they now lease from cable or satellite providers with a box or app from a third party as the FCC is proposing, Google and others could sell boxes or apps that would offer access to both traditional cable fare and OTT streaming services. Programmers are joining the opposition, concerned that they could lose control over their content and the advertising that supports it and be further exposed to OTT competition.

NCTA: Ban Online Progam Blocking In Retrans

The cable group tells the FCC that blocking viewers’ access to online programming, “when used by broadcasters as a tactic in retransmission consent negotiations, should be deemed to violate the duty to negotiate in good faith.”

New Lawsuits Over FCC Net Neutrality Rules

The FCC’s net neutrality rules came under a new legal assault Tuesday, as AT&T and the major wireless and cable industry groups sued to overturn the order. AT&T and its trade group CTIA — The Wireless Association, which also represents Verizon, Sprint and T-Mobile, filed lawsuits in the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals, as did the National Cable & Telecommunications Association, whose members include Comcast, Time Warner Cable and Cablevision. The American Cable Association, which represents smaller cable operators, went to the same court.

Re/code And NCTA To Partner On Events