ICYMI: Free Market Group Slams Anti-Competitive Retransmission Consent Regulations in Letter to U.S. Department of Justice

Aug 23, 2018

Calls for Congress and FCC to Eliminate Retransmission Consent Regulations
American Television Alliance Applauds Center for Individual Freedom for Efforts to Reform Anti-competitive and Harmful Regulations 

Washington, D.C. – The American Television Alliance (ATVA) today applauded the Center for Individual Freedom (CFIF), a free-market advocacy organization, for its advocacy on behalf of consumers.  In response to the U.S. Department of Justice’s call for comments in advance of its May 31 roundtable on anticompetitive regulations, CFIF wrote the agency to express its support for eliminating certain retransmission consent regulations that drive up costs for consumers.

The full letter can be viewed here.

Retransmission consent rules “inhibit innovation and restrict the ability of the parties to negotiate fully efficient relationships,” said Timothy Lee, Senior Vice President of Legal and Public Affairs for the CFIF.  “That harms consumers, because it prevents parties from providing the products that consumers most want.”  Lee also noted that the retrans system favors broadcasters over cable and satellite providers, allowing them to “negotiate higher license fees than they would otherwise be able.”

“Last year TV fans suffered a record number of broadcaster blackouts, and there’s no end in sight until Congress and the FCC take action to save consumers from this rigged system,” said Trent Duffy, ATVA spokesman.  “We are glad to see groups like CFIF working to protect consumers from anti-competitive and outdated regulations and we strongly encourage Congress and the FCC to follow suit.”

TV Blackout Crisis: Blackouts Break Records As Broadcasters Rake In More Money from Viewers

Since 2010, millions of Americans have seen dark screens instead of watching their favorite channels due to more than 900 broadcaster-initiated blackouts.  With 213 blackouts, 2017 was the worst year for TV blackouts on record.

  • 38 blackouts in 2018
  • 213 blackouts in 2017 (A New Record)
  • 104 blackouts in 2016
  • 193 blackouts in 2015
  • 94 blackouts in 2014
  • 119 blackouts in 2013
  • 90 blackouts in 2012
  • 42 blackouts in 2011
  • 8 blackouts in 2010


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.

For more information about ATVA, visit our website. Follow us on Twitter @ATVAlliance.