PAY-TV COMPANIES TO FIGHT NBC’S SUPER BOWL WEBCAST PLANS
Cable, satellite, and phone companies are vowing to challenge NBC’s decision to stream the 2012 Super Bowl to Internet users free, the New York Post reported today (Monday). According to the newspaper, the American Television Alliance, which represents top pay-TV distributors, argues that they shouldn’t have to pay NBC retransmission-consent fees if the network is going to give away the biggest audience attraction of the year. The group also complains that the planned webcast is coming at a time when the cable/satellite/phone industry faces the threat of content providers pulling their content off their distribution outlets unless those outlets knuckle under to demands for fee increases. “There are hundreds of agreements expiring,” a spokesman for the group told the Post. Presumably the distributors are concerned that unless they agree to NBC’s terms, the network could very well advise customers, “You can watch what you are missing on the network by watching the NBC web site.