PITTSBURGH, May 22, 2015 - American Cable Association President and CEO Matthew M. Polka issued the following statement regarding the FCC's decision to require Direct Broadcast Satellite providers DirecTV and DISH to pay regulatory fees in support of the Media Bureau's oversight of Multichannel Video Programming Distributors (MVPDs):
"ACA is very pleased with the FCC's decision to adjust its regulatory fee schedule to ensure that DirecTV and DISH will pay fees to share the support burden of the Media Bureau's oversight of cable operators, DBS providers, and IPTV providers. It was long unjust to require cable and IPTV providers to foot the regulatory bill for work of the Media Bureau that benefited both cable and satellite TV providers.
The FCC's action - which ACA has sought for many years - is pro-competitive because it recognizes that all of these providers compete in the same video distribution market and because it begins the process of establishing regulatory-fee parity between small, locally based independent cable operators each serving thousands of subscribers and large national satellite TV giants serving tens of millions.
"Attaining full regulatory fee parity will take some time under the FCC's new approach. In fiscal 2015, under the FCC's proposal, cable and IPTV providers will pay $61.3 million or $0.95 per video subscriber in regulatory fees, and DBS will pay $4.1 million or $0.12 per video subscriber to support the work of the Media Bureau. However, this is a good start. The FCC's actions will drop the per video subscriber rate for cable TV systems, including IPTV, by $.04 per video subscriber from fiscal 2014.
"In its further notice, the FCC is seeking comment on whether the rate paid by DBS should increase over time or if this fee category should be transitioned to an MVPD category together with cable television and IPTV. ACA, which believes that all video providers should be paying the exact same regulatory fees supporting the work of the Media Bureau, applauds the FCC for asking these follow up questions."
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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