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The Economics of Retransmission Consent

45 Pages Posted: 28 Jun 2009  

Jeffrey A. Eisenach

American Enterprise Institute; NERA Economic Consulting

Date Written: March 31, 2009


Congress created retransmission consent in 1992 to ensure that broadcasters would be able to negotiate in a free marketplace for fair compensation for their programming. Examining retransmission consent from an economic perspective, this study demonstrates that retransmission consent achieves Congress’ intended purpose of establishing a market based mechanism to ensure that broadcasters receive an economically efficient level of compensation for the value of their signals. This compensation ultimately benefits consumers by enriching the quantity, diversity, and quality of available programming, including local broadcast signals.

Keywords: retransmission consent, broadcasting, intellectual property

Suggested Citation

Eisenach, Jeffrey A., The Economics of Retransmission Consent (March 31, 2009). Available at SSRN: or

Jeffrey A. Eisenach (Contact Author)

American Enterprise Institute ( email )

1150 17th Street, N.W.
Washington, DC 20036
United States

NERA Economic Consulting

1255 23rd Street, NW, Suite 600
Washington, DC 20037
United States
202-466-3510 (Phone)
202-466-3605 (Fax)


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