With the FCC’s a la carte/programming pricing report expected to hit Congress within weeks, cable is making last-minute efforts to make sure its side of the story is heard. Discovery fired off a letter this week blasting NAB for challenging its assertion that broadcast retrans consent negotiations often result in carriage of broadcast-affiliated nets an operator otherwise wouldn’t carry. Earlier NAB hacked Discovery for failing to cite examples. In a letter filed with the FCC Mon, Discovery did, saying it’s been unable to get expanded basic carriage in Manhattan for Animal Planet or Travel Channel. "The vast majority of channel capacity is taken up by the operator’s need to carry other programming, almost 60% of which is broadcast-affiliated," Discovery affil sales chief Bill Goodwyn wrote. "A review of the total lineup, including digital programming, in Manhattan is similarly telling as broadcast stations and their affiliated nets comprise approx 43% of the channels in the lineup." Discovery repeated its request that the FCC take action on the issue-a plea coming days after Time Warner Cable told the agency the retrans model is broken. ACA registered its point in DC, taking issue with Viacom’s claim that operators are free to purchase any of its channels on a standalone basis. "Not surprisingly, these claims fail to describe how these standalone offers are priced," ACA said. ACA says big programmers use coercive price strategies, including tripling the price of a channel on standalone basis compared to how much it would cost if bought as part of a bundle of nets. ACA claims sometimes the cost of a smaller bundle of channels can cost 20% more than a programmer’s full bundle.

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FCC Seeks Comment on NAB NextGen Petition

The FCC Media Bureau is seeking comment on NAB’s petition regarding the treatment of multicast streams under the NexGen TV local simulcasting rules.

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