NAB Criticizes Ownership Rules In Comments To FCC
August 6, 2014 at 12:55 PM (PT)
The NAB has filed comments with the FCC in the 2014 Quadrennial Ownership Review proceeding, criticizing the current media ownership rules for assuming that broadcast television stations only compete against themselves in local markets, a rationale that the NAB says is not true and should be changed to reflect the changing marketplace.
The comments included a study conducted by ECONOMISTS INC. that contradicts the Department of Justice Antitrust Division's position that broadcast TV stations don't face competition from cable and other media for local ad revenue, finding no evidence of higher ad rates in markets with joint sales agreements or shared services agreements. "There is even some evidence that markets with JSAs and SSAs have prices approximately 16% lower than other markets, suggesting that these arrangements benefit consumers by lowering costs," the study notes, adding that "Increases in local television broadcast station concentration do not appear to have any effect on the advertising rates that broadcasters are able to charge."
The NAB also took shots at the newspaper-broadcast cross-ownership rule, saying that the rule "should have been eliminated years ago" and has hastened the newspaper industry's decline, and at barriers restricting minority and female entrepreneurs' access to capital, which the NAB says are the cause of the low minority and female ownership figures rather than the ownership caps being too loose.