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NAB Says Retrans Process Works

The National Association of Broadcasters has added its
praise to that of FCC officials and legislators for the retrans agreements
between Fox and Time Warner Cable, as well as between Fisher and Bright House.

"Thousands of retransmission consent agreements have
been successfully negotiated between broadcasters and our pay television
distribution partners since Congress passed the 1992 Cable Act acknowledging
the value of broadcast programming," said NAB President Gordon Smith in a
statement Tuesday regarding the deals struck last week. "These recent
announcements validate our long-standing position that the marketplace is indeed
working, and we salute Fox, Fisher and our friends in the cable industry for
their commitment to this fair, market-based process."

The Fox/Time Warner deal was struck in the face of pressure
from the FCC and Congress, Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.) in particular. One of the
drivers of all that D.C. attention were the college bowl games that some
viewers might have lost cable access to if retrans agreements had expired Dec.
31 without deals or extensions.

Kerry said last week the Hill would be doing some Monday
morning quarterbacking to see if any legislation was needed to avoid a repeat
of the Fox/TimeWarner impasse.

John Eggerton
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.