ACA to FCC: Ban broadcasters from bargaining as 'collusive unit'

Separately owned broadcast stations that bargain as a "collusive unit" for retransmission consent fees are "undeniably motivated by greed" and injurious to the local cable operators, the American Cable Association has told the FCC.

And, the organization said, it has accepted a challenge from broadcasters and compiled 36 instances of coordinated negotiations "including the names of the broadcasters involved and the markets where such coordination is occurring."

"Coordinated retransmission consent negotiations by same-market broadcasters not under common ownership are prevalent," said Matt Polka, ACA's president-CEO in a news release. "Broadcasters said ACA would find no actual occurrences of coordinated negotiations and ACA responded by laying the facts on the table for the FCC to review."

Polka said the detailed instances demonstrate "systemic injurious practices by broadcasters that occur during retransmission consent negotiations, meriting a firm regulatory response to protect the public interest."

For more:
- see this ACA news release

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