LAS VEGAS (Reuters) - U.S. television network NBC Universal has rejoined the National Association of Broadcasters after leaving the powerful trade group seven years ago over a dispute on policy.
The broadcaster, majority owned by General Electric Co., said in coming back to the fold that it has never been more important “for us to work together to ensure that television broadcasting remains a dynamic and competitive force in the marketplace.”
Four major U.S. broadcasters -- NBC, ABC, CBS and Fox News -- cut ties with the association between 1999 and 2003, because they wanted looser regulations than the association did on corporate ownership of television stations.
Since then, Congress passed a law that raised the limits on network ownership of television stations to collectively reach 39 percent of the national audience from a previous 25 percent.
The National Association of Broadcasters has been characterized as a powerful lobbying group, because it has radio and television station members in most towns and cities. The group said it will be stronger with NBC as a member and vowed it will be more aggressive in seeking changes from lawmakers and regulators.
ABC, which is owned by Walt Disney Co., rejoined the association in 2005, while the other two networks remain on the sidelines. Fox is owned by News Corp.