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With Massive CBS Blackout, ACA Urges Congress, FCC To Protect Consumers

PITTSBURGH, August 5, 2013 - American Cable Association President and CEO Matthew M. Polka issued the following statement regarding CBS' decision to black out Time Warner Cable at 5 p.m. EDT on August 2, 2013:

"The action taken by CBS to black out millions of Time Warner Cable and Bright House Networks customers validates ACA's oft-stated position that the rules governing retransmission consent are outdated and need to reflect current market conditions.

"Although many Multichannel Video Programming Distributors (MVPDs), especially independent cable operators, have been urging Congress and the Federal Communications Commission to adopt rules that prevent consumers from losing access to programming during these disputes, TV station owners have failed to support such consumer-friendly actions.

"With the CEO of CBS openly declaring war on Time Warner Cable, Congress and the FCC need to take action to ensure that these types of disputes do not continue to erupt and victimize consumers who, in this case and in many more, seem to be at the mercy of a bellicose broadcast CEO with a Napoleon complex.

"Congress and the FCC should also be troubled that in addition to blacking out Time Warner Cable video customers, CBS took the unwarranted step of blocking Time Warner Cable and Bright House broadband customers from accessing a range of CBS.com content, including full-length episodes of previously aired broadcast programming. Worse, CBS' Internet blackout includes Time Warner Cable broadband customers who receive MVPD service from providers who have retransmission consent deals with CBS in effect. Shameful does not even begin to describe CBS' brutal assault on consumers."

About the American Cable Association: Based in Pittsburgh, the American Cable Association is a trade organization representing about 850 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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