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September 12, 2014
Dennis Wharton
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NAB Statement on Report on Effects of Retransmission Consent on U.S. Video Marketplace

WASHINGTON, DC -- In response to a report by economist Jeffrey Eisenach about the successful effects of retransmission consent on the U.S. market for video programming and other countries moving towards a similar model, the following statement can be attributed to NAB President and CEO Gordon Smith:

"It is sadly ironic that while the rest of the world contemplates adopting a retransmission consent system to improve the quality, quantity and diversity of video programming offerings for their viewers, there are some in the U.S. Congress seeking to dismantle ours.

"This report decisively disposes the arguments of those seeking to change or eliminate retransmission consent. More importantly, the report clearly supports the notion that retransmission consent is a modest but important revenue stream that sustains a locally oriented system of broadcasting that is the envy of the world."

Here are some highlights from the report detailing the impact of retransmission consent on consumers and the video programming marketplace:

-- "U.S. consumers have benefited from better programming, including more news and other public interest programming, and from the ability to receive free over-the-air programming for which they would otherwise have to pay." - Page 43

-- " the absence of retransmission consent compensation broadcasters would have had to reduce the amount they spend producing content by more than a third." - Page 28

-- "...retransmission consent revenues are directly responsible for increasing news output [leading] to increased employment by broadcast stations." - Page 30

-- "retransmission consent compensation in 2013 accounted for less than two percent of cable operators' revenues, and is projected to level off at less than three percent of revenues in by the end of the decade. - Page 39

-- "...the evidence demonstrates that television programming costs in the U.S. are rising slower than MVPD revenues, slower than other components of MVPD costs, and slower than MVPD profits." - Page 40

-- "SNL Kagan reported a total of 21 instances of carriage interruption in 2012 and 17 instances in 2013, of which twenty-six of these involved a DBS operator (DirecTV or DISH Network), five involved Time Warner Cable and the other seven involved other cable companies." - Page 40

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