Broadcasters are dishing out more red herrings than a fish monger. They are currently trying to convince everyone that reforming the basic tier mandate would somehow negatively impact public, educational and government (PEG) access channels. Nothing could be further from the truth.

In fact, PEG stations would not be impacted by eliminating the basic tier mandate, nor would PBS or any station that elects must carry. Only for-profit broadcasters who are making billions of dollars on retransmission consent would be affected. The key question is whether consumers should be forced by the government to pay for network affiliates.

It’s amusing that broadcasters are feigning concern for local programming considering that the retransmission consent regime has absolutely destroyed diversity of ownership of local TV stations and broadcasters now show less local news than ever. Only one of every two stations even shows local news and less than 30 seconds of every newscast is devoted to coverage of local government.

While broadcasters black out viewers, shirk their public interest obligations and hoard spectrum space to preserve an antiquated one-way system of communication, ATVA remains committed to common sense reforms that benefit consumers.