Fox and CBS return to broadcaster trade group

May 11, 2010 By JOEL SCHECTMAN , AP Business Writer

(AP) -- The CBS and Fox television networks have rejoined the National Association of Broadcasters after a decadelong breakup.

The reunion comes as the industry faces a raft of regulatory issues and commercial disputes with the , cable TV providers and recording companies.

Fox left the NAB in 1999 and CBS followed in 2001 after disputes with local stations over federal rules on ownership restrictions. Larger broadcasters wanted looser restrictions. Smaller stations, "affiliates" that carry network programming but are owned by other companies, worry that would give the networks too much leverage over them.

The two other major networks, NBC and ABC, also left over similar issues but have since returned.

Congress ultimately loosened ownership restrictions in 2004, allowing networks to own stations that reach 39 percent of U.S. households instead of just 35 percent.

Some broadcasters are now battling an FCC proposal to reclaim some airwaves used to deliver over-the-air television signals. The spectrum is desired to expand wireless Internet services.

Although the FCC has described such a transfer as voluntary, the NAB complains that some aspects of the plan "may in fact not be as voluntary as originally promised" because the FCC is also considering imposing fees for using spectrum to encourage broadcasters to vacate airwaves.

Meanwhile, cable and other providers are asking the FCC to give them more clout in negotiations with TV broadcasters over the fees the providers pay to carry stations on their lineups.

And recording companies are seeking royalties for songs played on radio stations; the broadcasters are currently exempt from doing so.

"Both networks and affiliates agree on 99 percent of all issues, and the fact that CBS and Fox came in shows we are better as a united industry," said Dennis Wharton, spokesman for the NAB.

Martin D. Franks, CBS executive vice president for government affairs, said in a statement that a "resurgent NAB" would help address their concerns.

Explore further: Verizon launches rewards program with tracking

1 /5 (1 vote)
add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Cable, sat TV firms ask gov't to stop TV blackouts

Mar 10, 2010

(AP) --The most recent showdown left millions of Cablevision Systems Corp. customers around New York without an ABC station at the start of the Academy Awards. About 15 minutes into the show, a scrolling announcement told ...

Mediacom, Sinclair averts TV blackout in 11 states

Jan 07, 2010

(AP) -- Sinclair Broadcasting Group's television stations will remain on the lineups of Mediacom Communications Corp.'s cable TV systems after the two companies announced a new fee agreement Thursday to avert a blackout.

FCC seeking more spectrum for wireless broadband

Feb 24, 2010

(AP) -- Federal regulators are hoping to find more wireless spectrum for mobile broadband services by reallocating some airwaves now in the hands of television broadcasters and other users.

NAB: House majority opposes new performers royalty

Jun 03, 2009

(AP) -- The National Association of Broadcasters said Wednesday that a majority of U.S. House members are now opposed to imposing new fees on radio stations to pay performance artists.

Recommended for you

Verizon launches rewards program with tracking

Jul 21, 2014

Verizon Wireless is launching a nationwide loyalty program this week for its 100-million-plus subscribers. There's a twist, though: To earn points for every dollar spent, subscribers must consent to have their movements tracked ...

Verizon boosts FiOS uploads to match downloads

Jul 21, 2014

Verizon is boosting the upload speeds of nearly all its FiOS connections to match the download speeds, vastly shortening the time it takes for subscribers to send videos and back up their files online.

The goTenna device pitch is No Service, No Problem

Jul 18, 2014

In the new age of Internet-based crowdfunding with special price offers, where startup teams try to push their product closer and closer to the gate of entry, goTenna's campaign offers a most attractive pitch. ...

Maths can make the internet 5-10 times faster

Jul 17, 2014

Mathematical equations can make Internet communication via computer, mobile phone or satellite many times faster and more secure than today. Results with software developed by researchers from Aalborg University ...

User comments : 0