ACAction Brief - your connection to news and initiatives
Public Issue – August 04, 2010 

 Key Developments  

ACA Chairman Friedman Seeks End To Big Media Price Discrimination

Steve Friedman  
American Cable Association Chairman Steve Friedman said that under his leadership, the trade group is firmly committed to preventing big media companies from using their market power to extract discriminatory content fees from the customers of small, independent cable providers.

"We have never said our members are not willing to pay a negotiated fair price in a fair marketplace, but we have always objected to our members' paying an unfair, discriminatory, non-cost-justified price to broadcasters, cable programmers or others, just because we're smaller," Friedman said. "It's time for this discrimination to stop."

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ACA President & CEO Polka Calls For Small Cable Unity In Tough Regulatory Climate

Matthew Polka  
American Cable Association President and CEO Matthew M. Polka told the independent cable community that unity is essential in order to overcome the efforts of powerful special interests and to achieve the consumer-friendly reforms sought by ACA and many others.

Polka's call for joint progress came in opening remarks to hundreds of ACA members gathered here for the 5th Annual Independent Cable Show, an important business conclave hosted and organized by ACA and the National Cable Television Cooperative (NCTC), a Lenexa, Kansas-based group that purchases programming and equipment for U.S. cable operators.

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ACA President & CEO Matthew M. Polka Announces Results Of Trade Groups's 2010 Leadership Elections

American Cable Association President and CEO Matthew M. Polka announced the results of ACA's 2010 leadership elections for Chairman, Vice Chairman and six Board of Directors seats held during the trade group's annual membership meeting July 26 in Baltimore.

Polka also announced the names of the individuals who will serve on the ACA Board Executive Committee for the next year.

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ACA Announces Recipients Of Prestigious Awards At 5th Independent Show

NewWave Management Team
The American Cable Association saluted several ACA members at this year's 5th Annual Independent Show with awards recognizing their critical support for the trade group and the cause of advancing the interests of small, independent cable operators providing high-quality voice, video and broadband Internet service across the great America heartland.

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American Cable Association President & CEO Matthew M. Polka Appears On C-SPAN's The Communicators

American Cable Association President and CEO Matthew M. Polka was the most recent guest on the C-SPAN program series The Communicators, a popular weekly program routinely watched by key policymakers and media representative active in the telecommunications field.

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  News Headlines
  • FCC Proposes Sticking With Outdoor Antenna Standard For Distant Signals (Broadcasting & Cable, 07/29)
    The FCC is proposing to retain its outdoor antenna standard for determining whether a satellite customer is eligible to receive a distant-network version of a local TV station affiliate, which would ease broadcaster fears they could be facing more out-of-market competition for eyeballs and ad dollars.
  • Rep. Dingell Tells FCC To Drop Move For Broadband Regulations (The Washington Post, 07/28)
    Rep. John Dingell (D-Mich.), former head of the Commerce & Energy Committee, said Wednesday that the chairman of the Federal Communications Commission should drop his push to re-regulate broadband lines.
  • 13 Reps Rap Retransmission Consent (Multichannel News, 07/28)
    According to a copy of the "dear colleague" letter to FCC chairman Julius Genachowski asking him to open a rulemaking on retransmission consent reform, Reps. Steve Israel (D-NY) and Peter King (R-NY) were able to secure 11 of their House colleagues' signatures.
  • House Panel Backs Internet Gambling Bill (NationalJournal, 07/28)
    The House Financial Services Committee Wednesday backed legislation that would legalize Internet gambling and set up a regime to license and regulate it.
  • Facebook CEO Talks Privacy On Hill (Politico, 07/28)
    Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg made his first visit to Washington Wednesday, meeting privately with members of Congress about online privacy and other technology issues.
  • NCTA Joins Attack On TV Duopolies (TVNewsCheck, 07/27)
    The National Cable & Telecommunications Association has joined cable's attack on TV station duopolies, urging the FCC to prohibit two top-rated stations in a market from working together in negotiating retransmission consent deals with cable operators.
  • Sen. Kerry To Introduce Internet Privacy Bill, Momentum For Federal Rules Builds (The Washington Post, 07/27)
    Senator John Kerry (D-Mass.), chairman of the Communications Subcommittee, said Tuesday that he will introduce an online privacy bill that will create standards for how consumer data is collected and used for marketing. It will also give users more control over how their Internet activity and profiles are accessed by advertisers and Web sites.
  • Cracks Emerge In the Moto-Cisco Duopoly (Light Reading Cable, 07/26)
    The Motorola Inc. (NYSE: MOT)/Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO) set-top and security duopoly in the US isn't sinking, but a new digital video platform from Comcast Media Center (CMC) and Evolution Broadband LLC certainly has the looks of a shot across the bow.
  • Top D.C. Technology Regulator Brings Silicon Valley Mindset To The Job (, 07/25)
    People generally know what they want from the Internet: fast speeds at affordable prices with easy access to whatever website or application they choose. The job of Julius Genachowski — probably the most powerful figure in Washington on the technology front, other than his old friend Barack Obama — is to make sure they get it.
  • Comcast Calls Blazer Criticism 'Misplaced' (Portland Business Journal, 07/23)
    Comcast Corp., in responding to criticism from the Portland Trail Blazers over the airing of games, called the team’s observations “misplaced and inaccurate.”
  • Rep. Blunt To FCC: Reconsider Retransmission Consent (The Hill, 07/22)
    Rep. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.) wrote Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman Julius Genachowski on Monday to urge him to open a proceeding on the rules for negotiations between television broadcasters and the cable and satellite operators who redistribute their programming.

For more news, visit the Headlines Page 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 900 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 7.6 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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