The American Cable Association is calling on the FCC to block the Nexstar acquisition of Media General’s TV stations. ACA charges that Nexstar will rely on contract clauses permitting rates to reset automatically upon change of ownership, and that will result in “large and financially disruptive increases in retransmission consent fees paid by smaller multichannel video programming distributors (MVPDs).”
ACA states that the combined Nexstar-Media General would be a “broadcasting colossus,” owning at least 115 stations affiliated with ABC, CBS, NBC or Fox, overtaking Sinclair Broadcast Group as the largest Big 4 affiliate station owner.
The association says its worried that Nexstar-Media General could black out millions of pay TV customers located in the 110 TV markets (out of 210 total) where the broadcaster would own at least one Big Four station.
“If approved, this transaction would create a new broadcast ownership conglomerate of unprecedented size and scope, one which will control the highest number of the Big-4 broadcast stations in the country and have the power to threaten service blackouts to millions of consumers,” ACA President and CEO Matthew M. Polka says. “Accordingly, the FCC should prevent Nexstar from triggering so called ‘after-acquired’ station clauses in their contracts that produce an immediate and damaging spike in retransmission consent fees.”
Comments to the FCC were filed jointly with Dish and the Independent Telephone & Telecommunications Alliance.
Filed Under: Industry regulations