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ACA To CBS: Don’t Cable TV Subscribers Deserve Same Rights As ‘CBS All Access’ Customers?

PITTSBURGH, October 17, 2014 - American Cable Association President and CEO Matthew M. Polka issued the following statement regarding CBS' announcement launching "CBS All Access," a $5.99 a la carte service available only to broadband Internet customers:

"ACA has a simple message for CBS: Why won't you give cable subscribers the same rights you're evidently giving broadband customers under the ‘CBS All Access" plan?

"Based on what we know so far about the ‘CBS All Access' plan, consumers will soon be able to decide for themselves whether they want to pay to view online the content broadcast by CBS O&O stations and participating CBS affiliates.  Consumers will be able to choose to subscribe to the CBS service without having to subscribe to the other broadcast networks.

"Consistent with ACA's advocacy in support of the Rockefeller-Thune Local Choice proposal, ACA believes that cable customers should have the same viewing rights that broadband customers will soon have.  Cable customers should no longer be forced by regulation to subscribe to all broadcast stations carried by a cable operator as a condition to receiving any broadcast station.

"The inability to opt out of subscribing to a TV station is caused by a broken and archaic retransmission consent regime imposed by Congress decades ago.  Broadcasters should allow consumers to buy broadcast signals from cable operators on a la carte basis in the same way that CBS is offering its streaming service to broadband customers on a la carte basis."

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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