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ACA: AT&T-DirecTV Actions In Houston Justify Strict Merger Conditions

PITTSBURGH, July 1, 2015 - American Cable Association President and CEO Matthew M. Polka issued the following statement regarding the treatment of enTouch Systems, a small multichannel video programming distributor (MVPD) in Houston, by ROOT Sports Southwest, a powerful regional sports network (RSN) jointly owned by AT&T and DirecTV:

"To remain competitive, enTouch Systems requires access to ROOT Sports Southwest on fair-market terms. But the network owned by AT&T and DirecTV is insisting on the payment of fees that are unreasonably and unnecessarily high.  enTouch, a first-to-market 1 Gigabit broadband service provider with about 26,000 customers, competes head-to-head with AT&T and DirecTV in Houston, a market reality that gives AT&T and DirecTV an incentive to demand exorbitant and anti-competitive fees from enTouch.

"The way AT&T-DirecTV's ROOT Sports Southwest is treating this smaller competitor is deplorable, and the Federal Communications Commission needs to protect competition and consumers from the harms of the AT&T-DirecTV merger by adopting conditions that ACA has proposed in numerous filings."

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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