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NASA sees progress in ABC affiliation deals

The network affiliates' coalition has endorsed a portion of new contracts
signed by ABC and member stations.

ABC earlier this month agreed not to withhold affiliation transfer rights
following station sales unless denial is based on past performance or the buyer's
qualification to be an affiliate.

"To the extent it is implemented in a fair and reasonable manner, the new
assignment provision signals a welcomed departure by ABC," wrote attorneys for
the Network Affiliated Stations Alliance in a filing to the Federal Communications

NASA is seeking an FCC ruling to stem a number of alleged abuses by the big
networks, including penalizing stations that reject some network programs or
exceed strict limits on pre-emption of network shows.

NASA also noted that ABC was negotiating other contentious issues, including
affiliates' obligation to promote network programs during non-network time
periods, termination of affiliation deals when the network buys a competing
station in a particular market and quality measures for local news.