Eric Fruits on Retrans Blackouts

Communications Daily View Original Source

ICLE Senior Scholar Eric Fruits was cited by Communications Daily in a piece about retransmission blackouts. You can read the full piece here.

The FCC proposal that video subscribers get rebates for programming blackouts due to retransmission consent negotiation loggerheads “looks to be a fool’s errand that may end up doing more harm than good,” International Center for Law & Economics Senior Scholar Eric Fruits blogged Wednesday. The FCC commissioners adopted a retransmission consent blackout rebate NPRM 3-2 in January (see 2401100026). Fruits said the idea might seem fair, as consumers shouldn’t pay for programming they can’t access. However, he said, it’s unclear what party — programmers or multichannel programming video distributors — is more responsible for blackouts. Yet the proposal indicates the FCC thinks MVPDs are to blame, he said. That could bolster cord cutting and incentivize MVPDs offering lower compensation to broadcasters to offset the rebate costs, hurting smaller or local programmers that rely on retrans fees, he said.