Super Bowl Ultimately Going to Pay-TV? That Could Happen, Warns the President of the National Association of Broadcasters

Dec 9, 2010  •  Post A Comment

National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) President Gordon Smith warned that the Federal Communications Commission’s move to issue a broad notice of proposed rulemaking on retransmission consent could ultimately push the Super Bowl away from free TV, reports B&C.

According to the article,  the NAB " ‘strongly endorses educating consumers with the multiple options available to them in the exceedingly rare instance when a retransmission consent dispute arises, including the antenna TV option. In the final analysis, injecting Washington into private business negotiations that have a 99% success rate only serves to embolden pay-TV companies,’ said Smith."

Furthermore the story says Smith warned that "If the pay-TV giants succeed there will be further migration of premiere sporting events like the Super Bowl away from free TV, and a reduction in financial resources that sustain quality foreign language programming, local news and entertainment to a growing audience of more than 30 million Americans who rely exclusively on over-the-air television."


  1. Sounds like the NAB is fear mongering. Way to go NAB!

  2. Well, the NAB is telling the truth in this instance. If broadcasters aren’t able to negotiate freely for retransmission fees, while their cable counterparts continue to collect ever larger fees, it’s not difficult to see what will happen.
    It’s not much of a leap to think that the Superbowl would eventually follow MNF over to ESPN if broadcasters can’t raise their retransmission fees in order to be able to compete for programming.
    Now the alternative would be a la carte — but that doesn’t seem likely to happen.

  3. If it did happen, we could ALL sacrfice and NOT pay to watch it. There is alway a way to get back at some of these money mongers, BUT, everyone has to stick together.

  4. I wonder how many people realize the NCAA basketball tournament will start alternating the regionals finals, and the final 4 including the championship game between CBS & TBS? So much for those 30 million americans who watch over-the-air. And I’m sure the NCAA is sharing much of that 6 billion dollar deal with student athletes.

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