American Television Alliance Statement on DIRECTV’s A La Carte Solution to Eliminate Blackouts for All Consumers
WASHINGTON, D.C. – The American Television Alliance issued a statement in response to DIRECTV’s negotiation efforts with TEGNA following the broadcaster’s blackout of 66 stations in 52 markets this holiday season, and its proposed “A La Carte” solution to the broken retransmission consent model.
“The video marketplace has experienced drastic changes in the more than three decades since retransmission consent was created, and DIRECTV’s proposed solution to this broken regime proves its commitment to evolve alongside the industry,” said ATVA spokesperson Cora Mandy. “We applaud DIRECTV’s approach in these negotiations, placing consumer access to affordable, diverse programming at the center of discussions. We encourage TEGNA and other broadcasters to consider this framework and create a customer-friendly model that gives consumers more choice in their subscription package.”
DIRECTV’s proposed solution would allow broadcasters to charge any price they want—but also allow subscribers to choose whether or not to pay for each retransmission consent station. Every broadcaster could, in other words, value its programming as it wished and no viewers would ever be “blacked out” from programming they purchased. Such an approach—similar to one broadcasters themselves have adopted with Peacock and Paramount+—would provide choice and control to viewers while offering more stability to broadcasters themselves.
Plainly, the current system is broken. Broadcasters increased retransmission consent fees by an overwhelming 1,529%, since 2010. Viewership among the big four broadcast stations dropped 45% over the last decade and broadcasters have blacked out access to these stations more than 1,800 times since 2010.
To learn more about outdated broadcast regulations and their impact on the American consumer, visit https://americantelevisionalliance.org/about-the-issue/.