NAB Cites Multichannel News in FCC Filing

The National Association of Broadcasters used Multichannel News' cover story last week — "Eat or Be Eaten" — about MVPD consolidation to argue against the FCC proposal to eliminate the syndicated exclusivity and network nonduplication rules. (Multichannel is co-owned with B&C).

Those rules prevent MVPD's from importing duplicate network or syndicated programing into TV markets.

In a letter to the FCC this week, NAB enclosed a copy of the three-page story, which detailed a cable universe shrinking through consolidation.

NAB cited FCC chairman Tom Wheeler's blog post about the order in which he said that the rules "have been rendered unnecessary by today’s marketplace." NAB said it presumed that was meant to indicate Wheeler believed MVPD competition had "impacted the need for exclusivity rules."

NAB said that the Multichannel News article demonstrated that MVPD providers had more power, not less, over broadcasters, especially when it came to importing distant broadcast signals.

"We encourage the Commission to review this helpful analysis by Multichannel News as it re-examines the importance of the broadcast exclusivity rules," NAB said. "Considerable and continued consolidation in the pay TV industry fundamentally undermines any suggestion that the marketplace has changed in ways that render the current rules “outdated."

John Eggerton

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.