PITTSBURGH, SEPTEMBER 2, 2011 – The American Cable Association issued the following statement in response to misleading and inaccurate statistics that broadcasters have been providing the media about the impact of retransmission consent on consumers:
“Albert Einstein is credited by some as saying the most powerful force in the world is compound interest. Obviously, the good professor never had to negotiate a carriage contract with colluding, price-gouging TV stations given free spectrum worth billions and protected by friendly federal regulations that serve to pick pocket consumers who thought they were entitled to free broadcast TV.
“Contrary to NAB’s own self-serving statistics, an SNL Kagan study said retransmission consent fees are expected to reach $3.6 billion by 2017, double the current level. LIN TV itself reported a 50% increase in ‘digital revenues.’ Here’s what LIN’s President & CEO Vincent L. Sadusky said in July: ‘We are pleased to report 5% revenue growth, which was driven by our 50% increase in digital revenues. Our growth in digital is a result of our interactive strategy and ability to secure higher retransmission fees from pay television service providers, which offset the slow economic recovery…’
“Glad to see that in these current difficult economic times, Mediacom cable TV customers being held hostage by LIN TV are helping to subsidize LIN TV’s economic recovery.
“Finally, NAB needs to get its math right, because the simple truth according to another recent study is that higher marginal programming costs lead to higher prices for consumers. Period. If retransmission consent fees and other video programming costs rise, then those cost increases will lead inevitably to higher prices for cable TV and higher prices paid by consumers.
“It’s pretty clear NAB needs to charge the battery in its calculator.”
About the American Cable Association: Based in Pittsburgh, the American Cable Association is a trade organization representing nearly 900 smaller and medium-sized, independent cable companies who provide broadband services for more than 7.6 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 https://acaconnects.org/