Truth Comes Out at “Future of Video” Hearing

Broadcasters Admit Blackouts Unfair to Consumers

Washington D.C. June 28, 2012 – At yesterday’s house hearing, David Barrett of Hearst Broadcasting on behalf of the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB), agreed with pay TV providers and the public interest groups that blackouts are unfair to consumers. This is great news for TV viewers across the country. We appreciate the broadcasters’ acknowledgement that consumers have been used as pawns. We assume the NAB will immediately advise its members to stop using blackouts and blackout threats as a negotiating tactics. This should put an end to blackouts moving forward.   

When asked by Rep. Diana DeGette (D – CO) if he thought blackouts were fair to consumers no matter how rare or often, Barrett responded, “No.”

Broadcasters increasingly hold viewers hostage by using blackouts as a retransmission consent negotiation tool.

In 2012, there have been 55 blackouts with more on the horizon if Congress doesn’t revamp the out-of-date rules that favor them.