McSlarrow: Comcast/NBCU Merger Won't Change NCTA's Approach To Retrans

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National Cable & Telecommunications Association President Kyle McSlarrow says that the Comcast/NBCU merger  isn't going to change the association's approach to the issue of retransmission consent, which is that it should be a voice in the debate. Comcast is a member of the cable industry group.

Asked that question following a speech at the Media Institute Wednesday, McSlarrow pointed out that when he first came on board, NCTA had a position of "just not playing in retransmission consent." He said his view was that "we are always safer on the side of letting the marektplace work and that retransmission consent is actually a very highly regulatory regime that ought to be reformed."

He has often pointed out the must-carry is a government thumb on the scale of what ought to be a free market negotiation.

"We have had various flash points on this," he said Wednesday, "and I think we have some more coming." But it has been decided that NCTA should have a voice in that debate, and the board agreed. "I don't see any scenario where that changes," he said.

He said he did not know what the reforms are, but said NCTA could be a place for "a lot of people with different interests," who could hopefully work them out.

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