/// Broadcasters Try to Drag NCC Media Into FCC Fight Over Joint Sales Deals
Broadcasters have launched a counterstrike against the Federal Communications Commission's proposal to restrict TV joint sales agreements by asking the agency to look into similar sales arrangements used by the largest pay TV providers. The commission is scheduled to vote at the end of the month on FCC chairman Tom Wheeler's proposal that would effectively eliminate JSAs because they would push station groups over the ownership limits in nearly 100 small markets. In comments filed today with the FCC, the National Association of Broadcasters calls the “interconnect” advertising activities by cable, satellite and telephone companies “collusive.” Through NCC Media, multiple TV providers rely on one sales team to sell local and national advertising time across all the pay TV providers in a single market. Last summer, NCC added Dish to its lineup of pay TV inventory. So, the NAB reasoned, if the FCC is going to crack down on local market joint sales agreements between two small TV stations, shouldn't the agency also take a look at the local sales arrangements between pay TV providers? “Heavily regulated local broadcasters in smaller markets are being scrutinized by the FCC for a practice that involves one local TV station selling ads for another local TV station. Yet the heavily consolidated pay TV industry, unshackled by any ownership rules, is free to engage in this most collusive of advertising sales practice on a massive scale in multiple markets,” said Gordon Smith, president and CEO of the NAB.
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