PITTSBURGH, December 10, 2009 - The American Cable Association issued the following statement of President and CEO Matthew M. Polka on Time Warner Cable's Ex Parte filing on Dec. 8 at the Federal Communications Commission regarding retransmission consent:
"Time Warner Cable's filing demonstrates once again that retransmission consent is broken and continues to represent a regulatory construct that the major networks and local broadcasters abuse to milk as much cash as possible from consumers of multichannel video distributors, especially smaller cable operators that have no bargaining power whatsoever and are financially destabilized by take-it-or-leave-it offers presented by broadcasters with `must-have' content.
"ACA maintains that strict limitations on the conduct of those entities that own or control two or more TV stations in the same local market would also benefit consumers who are now being price gouged by the actions of outright TV station duopolies and local marketing agreements (LMAs), which are just duopolies by another name.
"ACA urges the Federal Communications Commission to endorse a new understanding of what it means to bargain in good faith as required by the statute and insist that broadcasters may not pull their signals from a distributor that has a retransmission consent complaint pending before the agency.
"ACA firmly believes that broadcasters' high-handed approach toward the bargaining process with our ACA members would change considerably if the free market were permitted to function and small cable distributors had the same opportunity as satellite TV providers to place local TV signals on a separate tier that consumers could purchase at their option."
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About the American Cable Association
Based in Pittsburgh, the American Cable Association is a trade organization representing more than 900 smaller and medium-sized, independent cable companies who provide broadband services for more than 7 million cable subscribers primarily located in rural and smaller suburban markets across America. Through active participation in the regulatory and legislative process in Washington, D.C., ACA's members work together to advance the interests of their customers and ensure the future competitiveness and viability of their business. For more information, visit http://www.americancable.org/
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