Univision Seeks Carve-out From Coordinated Retrans Prohibition

Univision has asked the FCC to allow it to continue to be able to represent Entravision in retrans negotiations.

The FCC on March 31 is expected to vote on a proposal to disallow coordinated retrans among the top four stations in a market, and to presume that any coordinated retrans in a market is not in the public interest unless it can be proved otherwise.

In meetings with FCC officials, Univision execs said that Univision Television Group's (UTG) provision of coordinated retrans for Entravision stations (they are both Spanish-language media companies) has made it more efficient for both parties in the process and that "the largest MVPDs in the country requested UTG to negotiate on behalf of Entravision precisely for that reason."

Most of the stations would not be affected, but UTG and Entravision both own stations in six markets, though not among the top four-rated so the coordinated retrans would not be disallowed, only presumed not in the public interest.

But Univision says that would have the practical effect of disallowing it and asked the FCC to either "create an exemption from the negative presumption where group-wide negotiations by one broadcaster on behalf of another involve a subset of collocated non top-4 rated stations," or "alternatively that this sort of unique circumstance be deemed sufficient to overcome the negative presumption."

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.