The American Cable Association and the American Television Alliance are taking the spirited communications battle over retransmission rules into the living room of pay-TV subscribers.
The ACA/ATVA commercial. Click to view. (Source: Vimeo / ATVA)
The two advocacy orgs have produced a 30-second commercial, currently running on several cable systems around the U.S., aimed at painting broadcasters as greedy profiteers that are aggressively seeking to ramp up retransmission fees and callously imposing blackouts if they don't get their way.
"Broadcast TV stations are encouraging people to help save free TV, but don't be fooled," states the spot's narrator, who then quotes SNL Kagan data showing overall retrans revenue will grow from $3.3 billion in 2013 to $7.4 billion in 2019.
The commercial can be viewed here.
The ACA/ATVA salvo follows the recent "Keep My TV" ad campaign launched by the National Association of Broadcasters, which accuses the pay-TV industry of undermining free TV services used by 60 million Americans. That campaign also includes a 30-second spot.
The ACA, ATVA and NAB, as well as associated broadcast lobbying groups like TVfreedom.org are attempting to sway public opinion at a time when lawmakers are reconsidering rules governing the negotiation of broadcast retransmission fees. The communications battle had previously been confined to publicly distributed letters addressed to key federal legislators.
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The nasty battle over retrans: Titanic deck chairs, Rome burning come to mind