PITTSBURGH, August 26, 2011 - "With Hurricane Irene about to slam much of the East Coast with fierce winds and deadly flooding, it is shameful that LIN Television Corp. would put consumers at risk by continuing to engage in a blackmail-or-blackout retransmission consent strategy with cable operator Mediacom Communications.
"In the Portsmith-Norfolk, Va., market - an area about to take the direct brunt of Irene's fury -- LIN controls the NBC and FOX television stations. In the aftermath of this storm, LIN is willing to withhold these signals from consumers if Mediacom fails to pay an outrageous amount of cash to retain distribution rights after Aug. 31.
"That LIN is willing to put its desire to fatten its bottom line ahead of public safety in the aftermath of a major weather emergency is contemptible, and it puts people at risk as they assess the scope of their property damage and their ability to return safely to homes they were forced to flee.
"Like every TV station licensee of the Federal Communications Commission, LIN has an obligation to use the airwaves it gets for free in a manner that serves the public interest. At a time when many communities are facing danger and dislocation from Hurricane Irene, the FCC should prevent LIN from using an act of God to lord it over a local cable operator and its customers facing a grave situation."
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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