No Retrans ‘Crisis,’ Say NAB, CBS

NAB spokesman Dennis Wharton: "Programming impasses are exceedingly rare, and those that occur are the result of bad actor pay-TV operators trying to game the system."

CBS executives, led by CEO Leslie Moonves, met with FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler earlier this month and urged the commission to terminate its review of its retransmission consent procedures, or at the least, to take no action while the review is open.

Moonves argued that while the proceeding is pending, MVPDs will have no incentive to negotiate in good faith with broadcasters, preferring instead to wait for a positive outcome for them.

The most important reason for terminating all retransmission consent proceedings, according to CBS, “is that for the first time since the Cable Act was signed in 1992, the goal of Congress has finally been fulfilled: The consumer is the winner. The American viewer has access to the highest quantity and quality of entertainment, sports, news/information and local programming ever in the history of television and for free of charge via the over-the-air distribution system.”

According to Moonves, broadcasters should not be penalized or handicapped because they invest billions of dollars in creating and acquiring programming that MVPDs desire.

CBS said that if MVPDs “do not want to pay market rate for this content, they are not obligated to purchase it. And their customers can access that same content in a number of other ways. The content is never ‘blacked out’ completely to any American consumer and is always available through other distribution platforms, including broadcast and OTT.”

Moonves also urged against the FCC’s proposal to eliminate the network nonduplication and syndicated exclusivity rules. He said that scrapping the syndex rules and leaving the compulsory copyright license intact would give cable and satellite operators what amounts to a government subsidy of the networks’ programming at below-market rates.


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kendra campbell says:

February 15, 2016 at 1:04 pm

Moonves is quite the comedian.