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NAB Wants News Corp/Hughes Merger Safeguards

By | June 17, 2003

      The National Association of Broadcasters is asking the Federal Communications Commission not to approve the proposed News Corp [NYSE: NWS] purchase of Hughes Electronics [NYSE: GMH] unless the companies agree to programming and distribution safeguards designed to protect local broadcasters.

      “As a result of the merger, News Corp will have a strong economic incentive to bypass local Fox broadcasting affiliates, substituting a national Fox programming feed for all DirecTV subscribers,” the NAB wrote in comments submitted Monday to the FCC. “By bypassing local affiliates, News Corp. would 1) realize immediate cost savings by reducing or eliminating retransmission consent payments and 2) gain advertising revenue that would otherwise have gone to local stations.”

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