ACAction Brief - your connection to news and initiatives
ACA Public Issue – December 21, 2011 

 Key Development  

ACA Commends Media Reform Bill Unveiled By Sen. DeMint, Rep. Scalise

Sen. Jim DeMint Rep. Steve Scalise  
ACA President and CEO Matthew M. Polka applauded U.S. Sen. Jim DeMint and U.S. Rep. Steve Scalise for showing vision and leadership in introducing on Dec. 16 new legislation aimed at reforming a wide range of outdated communications-related laws and regulations.

In a statement, Polka said he was particularly encouraged that the two lawmakers are seeking to update and modernize the laws that govern the video market to promote competition and to better serve the interests of consumers, especially those located in rural markets with unique economic issues.

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ACA Responds To FCC Adoption Of CALM Act Regulations

 
American Cable Association President and CEO Matthew M. Polka commented on the Federal Communications Commission's Dec. 13 vote to implement provisions of the Commercial Advertisement Loudness Mitigation Act or CALM Act, a law designed to equalize volume levels between commercials and regular programming on broadcast, cable, satellite and other multichannel video programming distribution platforms.

"ACA commends the FCC for implementing a law designed to respond to consumers who are offended by sudden, jarring audio spikes as commercials break into regular TV programming. As the FCC's rules take effect, families viewing TV in their living rooms won't need to lurch for the mute button anymore to deal with annoyingly loud commercials, many of which have been the responsibility of programmers, not cable operators,” Polka said.

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ACA: NFL Deals With NBC, CBS And FOX Amount To Roughing The Consumer

 
Provoking a strong response from the American Cable Association, the National Football League said it had reached television agreements with CBS, NBC, and FOX worth $27 billion combined over the nine-year term of the deals. Beginning with the 2013 season, the broadcast networks agreed to increase their annual NFL payments by a stunning 60%.

“Reports that CBS, NBC and Fox are expected to pay hyperinflationary fee increases to the NFL are a calamity for consumers and should be a clarion call to policymakers in Washington, D.C. The fact is that these outrageous sports rights fees will be thrust upon the nine out of 10 U.S. households that subscribe to cable and satellite services and are denied any opportunity to opt out of paying for the channels on which these NFL games will appear. When will the insanity on sports rights fees end?” ACA President and CEO Matthew M. Polka said.

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ACA Urges FCC To Craft Balanced Basic Tier Encryption Rules For Small Cable

 
To ensure that all cable operators have an equal opportunity to realize the efficiency benefits of basic tier encryption, the Federal Communications Commission should adopt better-tailored consumer protection measures that take into account the unique cost burdens of the smaller cable community, the American Cable Association said.

"Although the FCC's proposed encryption conditions may be suitable for many larger and mid-sized operators, for smaller operators they would impose higher costs and burdens that would reduce the benefit of basic tier encryption," ACA President and CEO Matthew M. Polka said. "By adding some flexibility to its rules to take into account the different circumstances faced by smaller operators, the FCC can ensure that the benefits of basic tier encryption are available to all operators, not just the larger ones."

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ACA's Polka Salutes Departing Copps On Decade Of Achievement At FCC

 
American Cable Association ACA President and CEO Matthew M. Polka congratulated Federal Communications Commissioner Michael Copps for rendering outstanding public service at the regulatory agency over the past decade, a period of profound change in markets, technology, and competition.

"Within weeks, Commissioner Copps will be stepping down from his position at the FCC. While Commissioner Copps will be leaving government, the American Cable Association will always appreciate him. During his decade in office, Commissioner Copps achieved many great things,” Polka said.

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 About ACA  

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.

For more information, visit www.americancable.org, or contact:

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