WASHINGTON, DC – Today, ATVA issued a statement responding to DISH’s Federal Communications Commission (FCC) filing against TEGNA for violating the Commission’s good-faith negotiation rules.
“We support DISH’s filing against TEGNA. During their latest retransmission negotiation, TEGNA held content hostage from millions of viewers while demanding nearly a billion dollars in fees,” said ATVA spokesperson Jessica Kendust. “Mammoth broadcast conglomerates like TEGNA must be held accountable as they weaponize blackouts and harm consumers time and again. We hope the FCC will recognize this latest incident and put a stop to these egregious tactics in the future.”
In their filing, DISH points out that TEGNA “appear[s] to demand that DISH pay for all subscribers in a local market whether they purchase local programming from DISH or not, and appear[s] to demand that DISH pay for viewers who are no longer subscribers of DISH.”
Broadcasters like TEGNA have been charging customers egregiously high fees for local programming for nearly two decades. This practice has generated enormous profits for broadcasters, with fees totaling more than 12 billion dollars. A link to the filing is here.
The American Television Alliance (ATVA) brings together an unprecedented coalition of consumer groups, cable, satellite, telephone companies, and independent programmers to raise awareness about the risk TV viewers face as broadcasters increasingly threaten service disruptions that would deny viewers access to the programs they and their families enjoy.