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American Cable Association President & CEO Matthew M. Polka Applauds FCC’s Intention To Open Retransmission Consent Rulemaking

PITTSBURGH, December 8, 2010 - "ACA applauds the Federal Communications Commission's intention to launch a rulemaking to review the broken retransmission consent regime that local TV stations have been abusing to gouge cable operators and their customers for many years, especially in small markets where ACA members are most active.

"Procedural reforms designed to supply consumers with timely information and protect them from broadcasters' `blackmail or blackout' stratagems are a solid first step, as FCC Media Bureau Chief William Lake outlined in his speech today at the Media Institute. In his remarks, Chief Lake said the rulemaking would be broad in scope, and ACA commends him for wanting the FCC's review to be as comprehensive as possible.

"As the FCC moves ahead with its rulemaking early next year, ACA looks forward to pointing out the many flaws in a regulatory scheme that permits broadcasters to charge discriminatory fees to small cable providers and gain even more bargaining leverage over ACA members by entering into collusive agreements where one TV station jointly negotiates retransmission consent with a second station in the same local market."

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