By Steve Donohue, FierceCable, August 13, 2013
| Veteran cable analyst Richard Greenfield said Monday that | Congress should allow cable operators to team up in local | markets to negotiate retransmission-consent deals with | broadcasters. | | In a report about Time Warner Cable's dispute with CBS | Corp., the BTIG analyst said cable operators lack the | leverage that local broadcasters have through local | marketing agreements that allow station groups to negotiate | retrans deals in agreements covering multiple TV stations. | | "If Congress authorized MVPDs [multichannel video programming | distributors] in a given market to work together to negotiate | retrans the way broadcasters are allowed to utilize LMAs and | combine the leverage of their broadcast and cable network | holdings there would be far more balance to the retrans | negotiations in each market (preventing a broadcaster from | playing one MVPD against another)," Greenfield wrote. "The fear | politicians run of advancing this policy would be if it results | in broadcast networks abandoning broadcasting altogether to | become cable networks," he added.
Or worse yet, abandoning their campaign contributions.