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April 22, 2020
Dennis Wharton
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NAB Statement on Pay-TV Campaign Against Local Media Eligibility for Small Business Loan Program

WASHINGTON, D.C. – In response to the American Television Alliance (ATVA) advocating against a proposal to allow local media outlets including broadcast television stations to qualify for the Paycheck Protection Program through the Small Business Administration, the following statement can be attributed to NAB Executive Vice President of Communications Dennis Wharton:

“NAB is disappointed that the American Television Alliance – a front group for AT&T, Charter, DISH and other Big Pay TV companies – is leading a cynical effort to deny local media badly-needed access to SBA loans during the coronavirus crisis.

"Americans from coast-to-coast are flocking to local broadcasters in record numbers for credible, lifesaving information during the COVID-19 crisis, while advertising revenues at local stations have plunged. Meanwhile, as ATVA attempts to exploit this global pandemic for political purposes, its Big Pay TV funders have cut off communication services for out-of-work customers, despite promises to the FCC, as well as ignoring obligations to provide local TV signals in markets underserved by local print journalism.

"We’re proud of the work of all broadcasters to keep people safe and informed during a pandemic that has created the most difficult circumstances imaginable for local media and our network partners. We make no apologies for seeking access to SBA loans that will keep these companies afloat, support local jobs and commerce, and save American lives.”

This weekend, Senators Maria Cantwell (D-WA), John Kennedy (R-LA), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), and John Boozman (R-AR) sent a bipartisan letter to Senate leadership urging support for expanding Small Business Administration loan access to struggling local newspapers and radio and television stations.

In early April, 19 Democratic Senators wrote a letter to Senate leadership requesting any future coronavirus stimulus relief efforts include funding to support local journalism and media. In addition, Representatives Debbie Dingell (D-MI), Bill Flores (R-TX), Marc Veasey (D-TX), and Fred Upton (R-MI) led a bipartisan letter from 240 House Members that asked that current federal government advertising funds be directed to local news and media outlets.

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The National Association of Broadcasters is the premier advocacy association for America's broadcasters. NAB advances radio and television interests in legislative, regulatory and public affairs. Through advocacy, education and innovation, NAB enables broadcasters to best serve their communities, strengthen their businesses and seize new opportunities in the digital age. Learn more at

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