TELL CONGRESS: End Broadcaster TV Blackouts Now


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TV image with static, About the issue

Broadcasters often unilaterally remove their channels from TV lineups, blacking out content from cable and satellite subscribers. Broadcasters then hold their channels for ransom until TV providers agree to pay more – the same channels that are available free over-the-air. These payments to broadcasters for “free” TV– so-called retrans fees – have soared in recent years, going from $200 million in 2006 to $11.7 billion in 2019 (an astounding 5,359 percent increase). Retrans fees are padding broadcasters’ bottom lines and costing customers billions more every year with no sign of stopping. Retrans fees are the fastest rising part of your monthly pay TV bill.

In the last decade, Broadcasters have weaponized TV blackouts, targeting live sports and other must-see TV on channels like ABC, CBS, FOX and NBC to inflict maximum pain on innocent consumers.


The ATVA’s mission is simple: to give consumers a voice and protect them from abusive broadcaster behavior. We seek to reform outdated rules that harm consumers and do not reflect today’s competitive video marketplace. We are united in our determination to ensure the best viewing experience at an affordable price and to end the menace of intentional broadcaster blackouts.

6 days ago
These stations claim to be #smallbiz, covering “local” news for their viewers. But these “independent” organizations recite the exact same script fed to them from none other than @Amazon. So, @NABtweets – how many of your “independent” stations have done the same thing? 🤔
7 days ago
Putting consumers first is critical, especially during times of crisis. We applaud AT&T and FOX for reaching this important agreement.
3 weeks ago
. @NABtweets – let’s get this straight. If our math is correct (196 stations x $20M), then the language in this bill means Nexstar could receive up to $3.94B in PPP loans!? Gray TV up to $6.14B?!?! Sinclair up to $3.8B!?!?? #PPP aid should = #noblackouts for PayTV customers!
3 weeks ago
The latest #PPP bill language would allow Big Broadcast to grab a piece of the pie for every station they own. For Gray TV with over 300 stations, that’s more than $6 BILLION in #smallbiz loans! Congress, tie any such aid to #noblackouts for PayTV customers! #retransreform
3 weeks ago
According to the latest #PPP bill, Big Broadcast conglomerates can claim up to $20M per each station they own. Congress needs to condition any such aid to #noblackouts for PayTV consumers! #retransreform
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