WASHINGTON, DC – Local television signals provide the most valuable programming included in a cable system's offerings, according to an analysis from BIA Financial Network, the Chantilly, Va.-based telecommunications research firm.
Separately, NAB today placed an advertisement in Communications Daily asserting that the retransmission consent process is working just as Congress intended. The ad quotes American Cable Association President Matthew Polka, who told Multichannel News in January, "This is not something we can win on the academic merit and substance of our arguments."
The BIAfn report can be read by clicking here. Highlights of the 10-page report, commissioned by the National Association of Broadcasters, include:
• The affiliates of the four major networks (ABC, CBS, NBC, and Fox) attract notably larger audience shares than major cable networks in the four selected markets.
• Local cable subscribers look to local cable systems and pay their monthly cable bills in part for the delivery of local television stations.
• DBS service providers, as well as telephone companies entering into the video programming delivery business, recognize the value of local television stations and have successfully negotiated those retransmission agreements.
• Cable system operators had previously demonstrated the value of these local television stations in prior retransmission negotiations by providing carriage of new cable networks created by broadcasters, such as ESPN2,FX,or local cable news channels.
• The fact that several cable systems are conducting their negotiations through very public campaigns is a clear sign that cable systems place value on those local television stations, hoping outside pressure will lead to lower prices for carrying those stations.
The National Association of Broadcasters is a trade association that advocates on behalf of more than 8,300 free, local radio and television stations and also broadcast networks before Congress, the Federal Communications Commission and the Courts. Information about NAB can be found at www.nab.org.