Not Just TV Stations Looking To Get Ad Leverage

The National Association of Broadcasters asked the Federal Communications Commission for a review of pay TV advertisingpractices, saying that local market cable TV “interconnects” ad sales groups are in effect an act of “collusion” which “deserves better oversight of the FCC.”

Interconnects are market-wide advertising selling operations comprised of different local cable operators in a particular market (which can also include satellite and telco services) that sell local TV advertising.

A big cable industry trade group -- no surprise -- isn’t exactly happy  about this. “NAB’s latest attack is an unfortunate and desperate attempt to divert attention from examination of discrete broadcast ownership issues," said Michael Powell, president/chief executive officer of the NCTA.

This comes just days after Tom Wheeler, FCC chairman said the federal regulatory group is  strongly considering ending/curtailing the practice of joint sales agreements TV stations can have in a particular market -- which can give one TV station seller bigger leverage against local and national spot advertisers.



For most businesses using any TV leverage is just fair game -- in almost any platform. Big media companies’ national TV advertising teams -- with an array of broadcast and cable TV networks, as well as associated web areas -- continue to seek that leverage, and not just with TV advertisers.

But when it comes to public TV station licenses, that is a different matter. So the FCC has oversight. That said, local cable franchises have their own regulatory issues with municipalities, as well as the FCC.

Who is right here? We know this: In a fractionalized TV environment, much needs to be changed, as competition continues to alter the playground.

Free-market business leaders would push to open up all doors, and eliminate all regulatory barriers. On the other side, many worry that even bigger media consolidation means less competition as well as fewer, less diverse TV voices.

On the other end of things, there’s the Internet, which has been inundated with the growth of ad buying and selling networks -- all looking to gain their own scale and leverage. End result: More messaging.

Translate all this into your most fair and favorable level of advertising leverage.  For end users, the only question might be, what new ways can viewers discover to get out of the way of an increasingly supply of marketing messages?


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