Gene Green: Retrans Is Business Negotiation, Period
But cautions both sides to be reasonable
By John Eggerton -- Broadcasting & Cable, 3/5/2013 1:28:30 PM
That drew applause from an estimated 500 (NAB's estimate) broadcasters in Washington for the State Leadership Conference (an annual appointment to meet and greet FCC officials and Hill types). Although Green was obviously preaching to the choir on that point, his message went beyond applause lines.
Both sides need to be reasonable in that negotiation, he cautioned, pointing out that "your customers are my constituents."
There are several opportunities for the government to step into the middle of that negotiation, including an open FCC rulemaking on good faith negotiations, the Media Ownership rulemaking, and the reauthorization of the Satellite Television Extension and Localism Act.
Green drew applause again when he said that upcoming FCC incentive auctions must be voluntary and that he would "fight to the end of it" to ensure that was the case.
Participating in the auction is voluntary by statute, but the repacking and moving of stations after the auctions is not. Some broadcasters are concerned about how those involuntary moves will affect them.
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