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American Cable Association President and CEO Matthew M. Polka On The FCC’s Response To Fox’s Ongoing Boycott Of Cablevision

PITTSBURGH, October 22, 2010 - "Fox's ongoing boycott of millions of Cablevision customers has resulted in serious consumer harm, judging by the precipitous decline in local ratings for such hit shows as "House," "Glee" as well as last Sunday's New York Giants football game. Fox's action is not unique because TV stations across the country prefer to play hardball with small cable operators by threatening to pull signals and by actually pulling signals unless broadcasters' outrageous and discriminatory cash demands are met.

"ACA commends Federal Communications Commission Media Bureau Chief William Lake for sending a letter to Fox looking for a good reason to intervene in the current dispute, where Fox has imposed a blackout on 3 million Cablevision customers for seven consecutive days. However, as ACA and many other groups, including programmers, satellite providers, and public interest groups, have said, the FCC has the authority to act beyond instances where there is a "good faith" violation. 

"We urge the FCC to explore every opportunity available to protect consumers, including launching the pending request for rulemaking on reform of the retransmission consent rules, which will enable a public discourse on the full extent of the FCC's authority to act and help decide what changes to existing regulations are needed to protect consumers, including mandated binding arbitration and signal carriage until agreements are reached."

About the American Cable Association

Based in Pittsburgh, the American Cable Association is a trade organization representing nearly 900 smaller and medium-sized, independent cable companies who provide broadband services for more than 7.6 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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