NBC Affiliates Want In on Data

Having made headway on the terms of OTT carriage deals, NBC affiliates’ next goal is to gain access to the data that’s available to the network and the pay-TV providers, Dave Lougee, the newly elected NBC affiliates board chairman, said Tuesday.

“Data is going to become the new currency, and that needs to be shared with us and our station partners,” said Lougee, who is president of Tegna Media. “We (want to) triangularly work together to get value out of that data and not let that value go to someone else.”

Lougee’s comments came on the heels of the board’s annual meeting Tuesday in New York, during which representatives of affiliates and the networks discussed a range of issues—OTT distributions, live sports and news among them.

Lougee said despite concerns, primarily from stations in the Pacific and Mountain time zones, affiliates were able to largely agree to the network’s plan to air next year’s Winter Olympics live across the country. “We are working it out to a mutually agreeable conclusion,” Lougee said.

He said advances made between affiliates and NBC on issues related to OTT distribution allayed recent friction surrounding the issue. “These issues are not easy,” he said. The breadth of new distribution platforms had put “a large ecosystem” between NBC affiliates and the network, he said.

The recent deals that allow affiliates to opt-into NBC OTT and TV Everywhere carriage deals, which he calls “a starting point to OTT,” are a testament to the sides’ working relationship. “These issues are not easy,” he said. Agreeing to terms took “a lot of hard work and tremendous amount of faith,” he said.

(Photo via Luckey Sun's FlickrImage taken on April 21, 2017 and used per Creative Commons 2.0 license. The photo was cropped to fit 9x16 aspect ratio.)