All sides weigh in, none happily, on must-carry/retransmission issue

It's hard to find anyone who's happy about where the must-carry/retransmission issue is headed. Broadcasters, who might be expected to greet the news that cable operators must carry their signals, aren't.

The NAB and affiliate associations for the ABC, CBS, Fox and NBC networks, asked the FCC to deny a cable and satellite industry petition because they think it would give pay TV providers the upper hand in negotiations and "without the ability to negotiate for fair retransmission consent compensation, local stations would have fewer financial resources with which to compete with (cable networks) in the acquisition of quality programming."

Not so fast, answered the American Cable Association (ACA), representing small cable operators, and noting in a statement attributed to President-CEO Matt Polka that "FCC intervention is essential to shield consumers from a broadcast industry bent on abusing its market power to gouge consumers served by small cable operators."

Finally, Cox Enterprises, caught in the middle with holdings in both TV and cable, urged the FCC to come up with "a government sanctioned fair path to resolution that parties negotiating in good faith could use when they simply cannot find common ground." That measure, Cox suggested, could prevent broadcasters from yanking their signals from cable systems when negotiations stalemate.

For more:
- see this story
- and this news release
- and this story

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