Moonves: Keep the Government Out of Retrans
CBS chief says "no one likes to see a dispute like this"
By Ben Grossman -- Broadcasting & Cable, 10/28/2010 10:01:40 AMMore Coverage: OnScreen Media Summit
Click here to read the complete interview with Moonves
CBS chief Leslie Moonves said that while he doesn't know the exact details of the Fox-Cablevision standoff, the one thing he does know is the government should stay out of it.
"We still thinks it's unfair the USA Network gets paid more [by cable operators] than the CBS network, but we don't think the government should be involved, the companies should settle it themselves," he said. "We need to remember that ninety nine percent of these get solved quietly. The FCC or government getting involved in any way, shape or form would be a mistake. The system works just fine."
Moonves made the comments at the 2010 Broadcasting & Cable/Multichannel News OnScreen Media Summit at the Marriott Marquis in New York during a keynote Q&A with B&C Executive Editor Melissa Grego.
Moonves did comment on the Fox-Cablevision deal that has stretched into the World Series, but offered little detail.
"I don't know what the dispute is or how far apart they are," he said. "Nobody likes to see a dispute like this and we don't know the details... I think it's pretty obvious which side of this dispute I am on."
Moonves also took the opportunity to sound his familiar refrain that broadcast television is still in a strong position.
"Two of the networks are down, two of the networks are up from last year. Network television works if you know what you are doing," he said. "We are looking at higher profits than we have seen in a long, long time. The upfronts were extremely strong across the board...the scatter market is going to be phenomenal. There are a lot less make good for us."
They systems works fine? Oh good grief, if it worked "just fine" there wouldn't be any dispiutes at all. "Working fine," doesn't mean solving everything in the 11th hour. OTA TV stations are not free business, because OTA is NOT a free market. If it was a free market, meaning anyone with enough capital could compete I'd say, "yes." But OTA has only so many stations per market, therefore it's NOT a free market and needs regulation. OTA stations benefit from cable, by getting more viewers and selling more ads because of the increased viewers. But OTA puts on lousy shows and drive people away. So OTA needs the retrans fees. Not becuase of anything but their own incompetence in finding decent shows. Is it any wonder people are moving toward torrents and DVDs?
EricPost - 10/29/2010 8:37:02 AM EDT
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