PITTSBURGH, July 22, 2014 - American Cable Association President and CEO Matthew M. Polka issued the following statement regarding bipartisan House passage today of the Satellite Television Extension and Localism Act Reauthorization Act of 2014 (STELAR):
"ACA applauds the U.S. House of Representatives on today's voice-vote passage of STELAR (H.R. 4572), which contains a number of important pro-consumer reforms of the pay-television market. Importantly, the bill includes a ban on retransmission consent bargaining collusion by separately owned local TV stations serving the same market. That provision builds on a similar bipartisan collusion ban adopted by the Federal Communications Commission on March 31.
"ACA is also pleased that the House STELAR bill repeals the FCC rule requiring cable operators to deploy set-tops boxes (STBs) with a separate security module known as the CableCARD. This regulation has proved to be costly, burdensome and, by the FCC's own analysis, ineffective in creating a retail market for cable STBs.
"ACA is hopeful that the U.S. Senate will embrace the House-passed STELAR reforms and consider attaching other proposals that would provide consumers with more choice and competition as well as some relief from a record-setting number of blackouts by price-gouging local TV stations and dominant cable programming providers."
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 nearly 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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