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Rehr Asks Broadcasters to Fight Retransmission Consent Amendment

Apr 24, 2006  •  Post A Comment

Sounding a general alarm, David Rehr, president and CEO of the National Association of Broadcasters, on Monday urged the thousands of broadcasters attending the group’s annual convention in Las Vegas to urge federal lawmakers to kill a proposed amendment by Rep. Nathan Deal, R-Ga., that would reform retransmission consent.

The retransmission consent law cleared the way for broadcasters to seek compensation from cable and satellite TV operators for retransmitting broadcast TV signals. But Rep. Deal is planning to introduce an amendment to reform the law Wednesday, when the House Energy and Commerce Committee is slated to vote on video franchising legislation aimed at making it easier for phone companies to get into the pay TV business.

“This Deal is a bad deal. Vote no on the Deal amendment,” was the pitch Mr. Rehr suggested during his speech at the opening session that broadcasters make to lawmakers.

In his first convention speech as NAB’s new chief, Mr. Rehr also made clear his continuing support for an effort to seek retransmission consent cash from cable. In addition, he said, the TV networks and their affiliates should share revenues realized from the creation of new ventures in which they each have a stake. “Networks and local affiliates must share in new revenue streams, as they are partners in building brands and creating value,” he said. “This will also help ensure the continued viability of the invaluable network/affiliate relationship.”