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ACA: With CBS' Blackout Over, Retransmission Consent Reform Should Begin

PITTSBURGH, September 2, 2013 - American Cable Association President and CEO Matthew M. Polka issued the following statement regarding CBS' decision to end its blackout of Time Warner Cable and Bright House Networks after 32 days:

"The point that no one should miss is that CBS' massive blackout of Time Warner Cable and Bright House Networks showed that the retransmission consent market is broken and outdated rules governing these negotiations need to be updated to reflect current market conditions.  If CBS can leave millions of pay-TV viewers in the dark for 32 days, no one can say with a straight face that the marketplace is working well for consumers.

"The CBS blackout also underscores the broadcast industry's refusal to endorse new rules supported by cable operators that will allow consumers to continue to view programming while broadcasters and pay-TV operators continue to negotiate new contracts.  From CBS' shameful conduct over the past month - which included denying access to CBS online content to millions of Time Warner Cable and Bright House Networks broadband customers -- pay-TV customers should know that broadcaster blackouts that enrich firms like CBS while pushing cable bills even higher are the new normal."

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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