NAB Refutes MVPDs’ Claim of Competitive Pay-TV


NAB / National Association of BroadcastersA number of multichannel video programming distributors have assessed the status of competition in the market for the delivery of video programming.

Suffice it to say NAB doesn’t agree with their assessments.

The broadcast trade lobby disputes the MVPD’ characterization of the pay television industry and highly competitive and their claims that the retransmission consent regime needs to be “fixed” in their favor.

Given the recent and continuing “massive consolidation” in the MVPD industry, “the commission should take a hard look at competitive conditions in the video marketplace, including ensuring that consumers’ interests are not compromised,” says NAB in reply comments filed with the commission.

NAB refers to the recent AT&T-DirecTV merger and the proposed Charter/Time Warner Cable/Bright House merger (see story above) as examples of MPVD consolidation.

According to the most recent SNL Kagan data, TWC alone — even before any merger — controls over 40 percent of the total MVPD market in 30 different DMAs, according to NAB, which adds that by any standards the combined Charter/TWC/Bright House will have market power in a significant number of DMAs (as do other MVPDs in other markets) and will be increasingly consolidated on a regional basis.

Particularly in light of MVPD consolidation, the commission should reject MPVDs’ call for tilting the retransmission consent marketplace in their favor, notes NAB.

“Unmeritorious, if not flatly unlawful, proposals for changing retransmission consent do not improve with age or repetition,” according to the broadcast trade lobby.