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Britt, White appeal for retrans consent reform

Tue, 04/24/2012 - 2:18pm
Brian Santo

The CEOs of Time Warner Cable and DirecTV co-signed a public plea to Congress and the FCC to revise the rules on retransmission consent.

Time Warner Cable CEO Glenn Britt and DirecTV CEO Mike White accuse programmers of taking the most popular programming “hostage” as leverage in negotiations. The joint essay was published by Politico.

“The root of the problem,” they wrote, “is outdated regulations that give numerous advantages to broadcasters.”

The two contend that programmers are trying to make up economic losses by demanding outsized retransmission fee increases, which ultimately get passed along to customers.

“Since 2006, the fees that companies like ours pay to broadcasters have increased nearly sevenfold – for example, from $215 million to more than $1.5 billion last year. This drives up the cost of TV for everyone,” Britt and White said.

They call on Congress to amend or eliminate the antiquated rules that give programmers the impunity to black out programming with little consequence.

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