American Television Allinace Renews Push for Retransmission Reform

Author: John Eggerton
Coverage Type: reporting
American Television Alliance (ATVA), Washington, DC, United States

The Federal Communications Commission under Democratic chairman Tom Wheeler declined to undertake retransmission consent reform, but the American Television Alliance appears to be looking for a new view from the new Administration. ATVA comprises cable operators, satellite operators and others who have been pushing the FCC to make blackouts and program bundling bad faith retransmission negotiating tactics, but the FCC closed its retrans review without doing that.

In a letter to the FCC, ATVA cited stations in 46 markets whose signals had gone dark on cable systems New Year's Day. ATVA Director Mike Chappell urged the FCC to undertake reform. He said that FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler's blog post--back when the FCC decided no new rules were needed --"suggesting that existing rules are sufficient to protect American viewers from abuses of the retransmission consent system" was belied by that figure. " The most recent evidence demonstrates what the American Television Alliance has always maintained —existing rules do not protect the viewing public from broadcaster blackout," he wrote.


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