WASHINGTON -- The National Association of Broadcasters today responded to a new pay-TV backed consortium known as the American Television Alliance, which is seeking to give pay-TV providers increased leverage during retransmission consent negotiations. Retransmission consent, established as part of the 1992 Cable Act, is the market-based negotiation process in which a pay-TV provider and a local television station reach a carriage agreement for the TV station signal.
Commenting on the formation of the pay-TV alliance, NAB Executive Vice President of Communications Dennis Wharton issued the following statement:
"The notion that Time Warner and its Big Pay TV allies are part of a group designed 'to protect consumers' is about as credible as BP executives joining Greenpeace. Pay TV built its business on the backs of broadcast programming, and it is not unreasonable for local TV stations to expect fair compensation for the most-watched shows on television. The ultimate irony is that Big Pay TV was against government intervention before it was for it, as evidenced by their continued opposition to net neutrality rules."
Cable profits increased five times the amount of their programming expenses during a three-year period according to a 2009 study, NAB noted today. Meanwhile, broadcast programming accounted 302 of Nielsen's 312 top-rated programs during the 2009-2010, according to the Television Bureau of Advertising.
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