Network Affiliates to FCC: OTT Needs Retrans Rules

Said will help reset unbalanced network/affiliate relationship

Network-affiliated TV stations are again pushing the Federal Communications Commission to bring some over-the-top video providers under the retransmission consent regime so they will have to negotiate directly with TV stations for carriage.

That push came in comments to the FCC on the agency‘s latest quadrennial review of media ownership regulation.

They tried to get the FCC back in 2020, under former chairman Ajit Pai, to revive the proceeding, also citing the rise of OTT, but to no avail. The idea was originally proposed by then-FCC chairman Tom Wheeler, a Democrat, in 2014.

In asking the FCC to retain the rule against common ownership of two or more of the major national TV networks, the affiliate associations of the Big Four — ABCCBSNBC and Fox — said that it was necessary in part to keep the networks from exercising even more power over affiliation agreements.

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