NAB Chairman Defends Retrans Payments

Apr 13, 2011  •  Post A Comment

In a speech Tuesday at the National Association of Broadcasters Show in Las Vegas, NAB Chairman Gordon Smith set his sights on cable operators in a defense of retransmission payments, B&C reported.

“Co-opting broadcast terminology, [Smith] called their channels ‘cable stations,’ and said they get paid for their content, and should get paid,” the piece reports. “But so should broadcasters, he said, drawing the parallel.’Stations deserve the right to negotiate for compensation of their programming. And we know that the system works, because thousands of agreements have been successfully negotiated over the years, with a success rate of over 99 percent.’”

Broadcasters say the system is working, and are resisting efforts by the Federal Communications Commission to change the system, the story says.

Said Smith: "Only a sliver of the negotiations has led to a disruption of service. Some pay-TV companies, however, want to pay nothing or only a pittance for local stations’ signals–even though local content and network programming offered by broadcasters are the ones viewers watch most."

Smith said “free TV” means free to viewers, "not to multibillion-dollar corporations that sell subscriptions on the backs of our content," the piece reports.

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