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2Q lobby dollars slip as net neutrality battle moves to the courts

For the 27 media, marketing and tech trade associations tracked by Katy on the Hill, combined lobby spending in the second quarter 2015 slipped 5.2 percent, from $20.8 million in the first quarter 2015 to $19.7 million in the second quarter.

Once the Federal Communications Commission approved its net neutrality rules in first quarter of 2015, the battle, and the dollars, shifted from the lobbies to the courtrooms. That shift could be one of the reasons that lobbying spending by the cable and wireless associations slumped, driven by spending cuts by the two big spenders, NCTA and CTIA.

The National Cable and Telecommunications Association, the trade group for the cable guys, spent $2.95 million, 22 percent less than the $3.8 million in the first quarter.  Its disclosure form itemizes nearly 120 House and Senate bills and resolutions dealing with broadcasting, radio and cable, copyright, homeland security, taxation, telecommunications, trade and energy.

CTIA, the Wireless Association, which patrols the Hill and the agencies for the mobile phone companies, spent $1.8 million in the quarter, a whopping 44 percent decline from the $3.1 million it spent in the first quarter. Top of CTIA’s issues: the deployment of FM chips in mobile telephones, data breach and data security, spectrum policy, including efforts to reallocate federal spectrum for commercial use, stolen phone locks, the FCC’s open Internet Order, the National Security Agency’s collection and use of telephone metadata and the deployment of wireless infrastructure.

The National Association of Broadcasters, the perennial leader of the pack, spent $4.1 million talking to Congress and regulators about the advertising tax deduction, broadcast ownership, broadcast spectrum and the incentive auction, joint sales agreements, news drones, copyright reform, music streaming, music licensing and the update of the Communications Act.  And that’s just the short list, so it’s little wonder the NAB spends as much as it does.

Lobbying expenditures for media, marketing and consumer tech trade associations

Industry GroupQ2 2015Q1 2015% changeQ3/14 to Q2/15
National Association of Broadcasters$4,170,000 $4,720,000 -11.7%$17,400,000
National Cable & Telecomm Association$2,950,000 $3,780,000 -22.0%$16,040,000
CTIA-The Wireless Association$1,760,000 $3,130,000 -43.8%$9,190,000
National Retail Federation$1,640,000 $1,420,000 15.5%$4,510,000
Entertainment Software Association$1,500,000 $1,080,000 38.9%$5,400,000
Consumer Electronics Association$1,440,000 $680,000 111.8%$3,630,000
RIAA$1,308,099 $1,182,761 10.6%$4,324,814
US Telecom Association$1,180,000 $1,180,000 0.0%$5,300,000
Association of National Advertisers$430,000 $410,000 4.9%$1,550,000
Business Software Alliance$420,000 $410,000 2.4%$1,470,000
Internet Association$360,000 $360,000 0.0%$1,480,000
Motion Picture Association of America$340,000 $340,000 0.0%$1,340,000
Natl Telecommunication Cooperative$330,000 $180,000 83.3%$750,000
SoundExchange$270,000 $240,000 12.5%$940,000
Direct Marketing Association
$250,000 $250,000 0.0%$1,000,000
Newspaper Association of America$225,000 $210,000 7.1%$855,000
Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers$200,000 $160,000 25.0%$650,000
Magazine Publishers of America$160,000 $160,000 0.0%$558,000
American Cable Association$150,000 $150,000 0.0%$560,000
Competitive Carriers Association$150,000 $150,000 0.0%$570,000
Outdoor Advertising Association$135,966 $135,489 0.4%$523,990
Writer's Guild West$90,000 $200,000 -55.0%$700,000
Digital Content Next (former Online Publishers Association)$80,000 $80,000 0.0%$320,000
American Association of Advertising Agencies$70,000 $60,000 16.7%$283,662
Interactive Advertising Bureau$45,000 $45,000 0.0%$180,000
American Advertising Federation (AAF)$30,000 $30,000 0.0%$100,000
Computer & Communications Industry Association$27,000 $40,000 -32.5%$167,000