PITTSBURGH, August 25, 2016 - ACA President and CEO Matthew M. Polka issued the following statement regarding the Federal Communications Commission's decision to close a regulatory loophole that allowed TV stations to form otherwise prohibited local duopolies without the opportunity for FCC review:
"This is a positive step that the FCC is taking to ensure compliance with its local television ownership rules and improve the functioning of the retransmission consent marketplace. The FCC already prohibits the ownership of one top-four rated television station from acquiring a second top-four rated station in the same market. Its action today will rein in the practice of a single owner of a top-four and non-top-four rated station achieving this same goal by simply swapping their network affiliations outside the purview of the FCC. This abusive practice permits the stations' owner to negotiate retransmission consent for two top-four rated stations at the same time, thus driving up prices and harming consumers. Such joint negotiations among two non-commonly owned stations in a single market have been prohibited for precisely the same reason. ACA is pleased to see that the FCC is taking action to address the retransmission consent marketplace through its rulemaking powers and encourages it to continue to look for ways to improve the function of its rules."
About the American Cable Association: Based in Pittsburgh, the American Cable Association is a trade organization representing nearly 750 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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