ACAction Brief - your connection to news and initiatives
ACA Public Issue – May 17, 2012 

 Key Developments  

ACA: Separate Regulatory Status For OVDs Consistent With FCC Precedent

The American Cable Association told the Federal Communications Commission's Media Bureau that continuing to refrain from classifying pure-play online video distributors (OVDs) as Multichannel Video Programming Distributors (MVPDs) is in accord with the intent, language and structure of the law and with longstanding Congressional and agency precedent that carefully separated the burgeoning online world from traditional forms of media regulation applied to facilities-based operators.

"Giving OVDs the same regulatory status as cable operators under the law would be an unreasonable interpretation of the law," ACA President and CEO Matthew M. Polka said. "Far reaching and disruptive consequences would result from imposing MVPD status on OVDs, because regulatory requirements crafted with wholly different business models and network configurations would apply by their terms to OVDs."

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ACA Asks U.S. Copyright Office To Create Streamlined SOA Fee Waiver

The American Cable Association is asking the U.S. Copyright Office to create a streamlined waiver process that will relieve small, financially troubled cable operators from paying new filing fees on submitted semi-annual Statements of Account (SOAs) for at least one year to create needed space for these firms to improve their financial condition.

"Permitting cable operators to seek waivers will greatly reduce financial burdens for some providers without materially compromising Congress's goals of permitting the Copyright Office to recover up to 50% of its administrative costs," ACA President and CEO Matthew M. Polka said.

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ACA Applauds Confirmation Of Jessica Rosenworcel And Ajit Pai For The FCC

Jessica Rosenworcel Ajit  
On May 7, the U.S. Senate voted unanimously to confirm Jessica Rosenworcel, a Democrat, and Ajit Pai, a Republican, to serve on the Federal Communications Commission, an agency charged by Congress with overseeing the communications industry and many of its services offered to consumers and the enterprise market.

In response to the Senate vote, ACA President and CEO Matthew M. Polka issued a statement congratulating both Rosenworcel and Pai on their achievement. Rosenworcel and Pai provide the FCC with a full slate of five voting members.

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  News Headlines

  • Dish CEO Clayton Responds To Criticism Of Ad-Skipping DVR (Bloomberg, 5/16)
    Dish Network Corp. (DISH) says it has “respect” for broadcast networks after executives at Comcast Corp. (CMCSA)’s NBC and News Corp. (NWSA)’s Fox questioned the company’s motive for letting subscribers automatically skip ads.
  • He Said, She Said: Is Comcast Prioritizing Traffic Or Not? (, 5/15)
    Comcast, once again, has some explaining to do.
  • CoBank Urges FCC To Reconsider Universal Service Caps (, 5/14)
    Add CoBank to the growing list of individuals and entities that have spoken out in opposition to the FCC’s recently imposed plan for capping Universal Service funding received by small rate of return carriers.
  • NBC, Affiliates Take Step Forward In Retrans Proxy Arrangement (Broadcasting & Cable, 5/14)
    The elusive pact to have NBC negotiate retransmission consent deals on behalf of its affiliates isn't dead yet, said both the network and its affiliate leadership, and has moved forward -- albeit with a baby step.
  • NBC Broadcasting Head No Fan Of Dish's Commercial-Skipping Device (Los Angeles Times, 5/13)
    NBC Broadcasting Chairman Ted Harbert is not a fan of satellite broadcaster Dish Network's new commercial-skipping device, the Auto Hop, which automatically deletes commercials from recorded prime-time programming from the four big broadcast networks.
  • Portland Broadcast Affiliates Pull Signals From Skitter TV (Broadcasting & Cable, 5/10)
    The ABC, CBS, Fox and NBC broadcast affiliates in Portland, Ore., have told Internet TV venture Skitter to stop distributing their network feeds as they "review our retransmission agreements," according to a notice the startup sent to subscribers.
  • Carey: TV Everywhere Can Help Subscribers Swallow Rate Hikes (FierceCable, 5/10)
    Allowing cable and satellite TV subscribers to watch TV series from Fox and other cable networks through TV Everywhere websites and mobile devices will help pay-TV customers see value in the ballooning costs of subscription video programming packages, News Corp. (Nasdaq: NWSA) Deputy Chairman and COO Chase Carey suggested Wednesday.
  • Dish Launches New Ad-Skipping Service (Multichannel News, 5/10)
    Dish Network is introducing a new feature on its DVRs called Auto Hop that allows customers to skip all commercials for most recorded high-definition programs shown on ABC, CBS, Fox and NBC, when watched the day after they air.
  • Time Warner Cable Stepping Up Its Game In L.A. Sports Programming (Los Angeles Times, 5/10)
    The cable operator, which has already landed Lakers telecasts, is launching English- and Spanish-language sports channels in a bid to circumvent News Corp.
  • Consumer Reports: WOW, Verizon Are Best Triple-Play Providers (FierceCable, 5/8)
    Cable overbuilders WideOpenWest and Verizon (NYSE: VZ) were ranked the top triple-play providers of pay TV, high-speed Internet and telephone service in the June issue of Consumer Reports.

For more ACA News visit the Newsroom on the ACA Website.

 About ACA  

Across this vast country, small and rural markets participate in the digital revolution by receiving video, broadband, and phone services from nearly 850 small and medium-sized independent operators represented by the American Cable Association (ACA).

ACA’s members -- cable, phone, and fiber-to-the-home operators and municipalities -- deliver affordable basic and advanced services to about 7.4 million households and businesses. ACA members operate in every state, offering high-definition television, next generation Internet access, and digital phone service.

Access to advanced communications is not a luxury but a critical necessity for consumers and companies, schools and hospitals. America’s economic prosperity in smaller markets and rural areas depends on the growth and success of ACA members, who believe a connected nation, is a united nation.

The ACA asks lawmakers and regulators to ensure fair treatment so that small and medium-sized independent operators may continue to supply affordable video, broadband, and phone services to Main Street America. Through active participation in the policymaking process, ACA members and leaders advocate for the interests of their customers, their companies, and their communities to help ensure the continued viability of their way of life in hometown America.

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