NAB to FCC: Cable's "collusive" practices "game the advertising sales market" | FCC's Clyburn: JSA proposal must have "balance" | NAB: Justice Dept.'s anti-JSA stance is based on "false" assumptions
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March 19, 2014
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NAB to FCC: Cable's "collusive" practices "game the advertising sales market"
NAB is asking the Federal Communications Commission to take a closer look at the "collusive" advertising practices of cable, telecom and satellite providers. "Heavily regulated local broadcasters in smaller markets are being scrutinized by the FCC for a practice that involves one local TV station selling ads for another local TV station," NAB President and CEO Gordon Smith said. "Yet the heavily consolidated pay-TV industry, unshackled by any ownership rules, is free to engage in this most collusive of advertising sales practice on a massive scale in multiple markets." Variety (3/19), Broadcasting & Cable (3/19)
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Business & Industry Report
FCC's Clyburn: JSA proposal must have "balance"
A proposal by Federal Communications Commission Chairman Tom Wheeler to sharply restrict joint-sales agreements for TV stations must have "balance" to ensure the agency can "uphold" guidelines meant to help smaller stations thrive, FCC member Mignon Clyburn said. The Democratic member has not indicated whether she will back Wheeler's plan. "This is an item that is still very fluid, and I'm looking forward to continuing to work with my colleagues because we all, in the end, I believe, want the same thing: to achieve balance," Clyburn said. Bloomberg (3/18)
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NAB: Justice Dept.'s anti-JSA stance is based on "false" assumptions
The Justice Department's claim that joint-sales and other shared-services agreements hurt competition is "based entirely on the false and dated assumption that local broadcasting is a relevant antitrust product market," NAB wrote in a filing. "If the Department acknowledged that broadcast television stations face a host of non-broadcast competitors (as they plainly do), it would dismantle the Department's rationale for its proposed rule change." Variety (3/18), Radio Business Report (3/18)
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FCC risks "upending" auction due to faulty repacking plan, broadcasters say
The incentive spectrum auction could fail if the Federal Communications Commission doesn't completely rework its repacking plan, which is based on "clearly erroneous inputs and technically unsound assumptions" that could result in interference problems, according to a joint filing by NAB and commercial and public networks and TV stations. "Use of the proposed methodology as a basis for repacking broadcast television stations would violate the express terms of the Spectrum Act," broadcasters wrote. "Such use would be legally unsustainable, and would risk upending or significantly delaying the auction." Broadcasting & Cable (3/18)
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Broadcasters urge Senate panel to pass "clean" renewal of STELA
Broadcasters are calling on the Senate commerce committee to resist using the Satellite Television Extension and Localism Act to make major changes to settled communications law. Instead, the panel should agree on a "clean" renewal that ensures access to local broadcast signals and helps keep pay-TV rates from rising. "Given that consumers continue to experience year-over-year increases in the rates they pay MVPD's, increases that routinely outpace inflation, NAB believes it would be wise to retain any tools that have the potential to constrain cable prices at this time," NAB wrote in a presentation for the committee. Broadcasting & Cable (3/18)
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Report: Music industry gets assist from booming online services
The music business had a mixed year in 2013, with overall revenue off by 3.9%, while returns for online subscription services jumped 51%. A 16.7% decrease in revenue in Japan, the second-biggest global market, was partially offset by increases in other top regions, per the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry. Bloomberg (3/18)
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Related Industry News
Comcast-Time Warner Cable merger would improve competition, exec says
The proposed Comcast takeover of Time Warner Cable would enable the merged company to better compete in the business services segment and could lead to an expansion in the pay-TV market, Rebecca Arbogast, Comcast's senior vice president for global public policy, said Tuesday at an industry event. "Times have changed, and so the regional model of cable footprints just isn't tenable any longer, given that the companies we're competing against have national footprints and it's important to be able to have that scale," she said. Broadcasting & Cable (3/18)
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People & Personalities
Seattle radio reporter: News chopper crash that killed 2 hit "our family"
Newsroom staffers at Seattle's KOMO said they were wrestling to "put [their] emotions on hold" to cover the KOMO news helicopter crash outside their facility that killed two contract workers and seriously injured a third person. "This is something that happened to our family," said Corwin Haeck, a KOMO news radio reporter. The Seattle Times (3/18)
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Country radio star Bobby Bones can now be heard in nation's capital
Syndicated country radio host Bobby Bones, who is known for his non-traditional voice and habit of "going rogue" during interviews with performers, has reached a new level of success. The Clear Channel host has taken over the morning slot of WMZQ-FM in Washington, D.C., which is now his largest market among his more than 60 outlets nationwide. The Washington Post (tiered subscription model) (3/18)
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NAB News
On-demand webcast series for radio broadcasters: Secure more digital dollars
BIA/Kelsey projects digital ad spending will top 20% of an advertiser's total advertising budget later this year and more than 27% by 2017. Is your station ready to offer digital solutions? The NAB Virtual Academy for Radio: Delving Deep into Digital webcast series is a three-part, on-demand webcast series that delivers actionable content and digital solutions you can put to use right now. Read more.
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Now available: 2013 NAB Television Financial Report
This comprehensive report on television station revenues and expenses in the U.S includes 81 tables that show a comparative analysis by market size, station affiliation and revenue categories. This report assists with the budgeting process and provides answers to the most challenging financial questions across the television industry. Purchase your copy today at
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One reason why birds and horses are not unhappy is because they are not trying to impress other birds and horses."
-- Dale Carnegie,
American motivational speaker and writer
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