For Immediate Release
Contact: Ted Hearn
PITTSBURGH, June 15, 2018 – American Cable Association President and CEO Matthew M. Polka issued the following statement regarding Comcast’s offer to purchase most of 21st Century Fox for about $65 billion:
“Comcast/NBCU’s offer to buy ‘must have’ Fox programming assets should raise red flags for federal and state competition enforcers because of the grave harm it would cause to consumer welfare should the combination be consummated. Even without Fox, over the past seven years, Comcast/NBCU has demonstrated it will thwart competing programmers and raise rates and impose onerous terms on smaller broadband and video providers, many of whom compete with it. And, these harms have occurred even though Comcast-NBCU has been subject to government-imposed conditions designed to limit its anticompetitive acts.
“So, whatever harm we see today from Comcast/NBCU will only grow should it be permitted to acquire key Fox programming assets. Rival distributors will stand no chance of getting a fair programming deal if Comcast/NBCU can control Fox’s Regional Sports Networks (RSNs) along with the Fox national cable programming networks, like FX, and join them with NBCU’s own extensive ownership of local television stations, RSNs, and top rated national cable programming, such as USA Network and CNBC.
“At the end of the day, Comcast’s offer for Fox’s assets is designed to enable Comcast/NBCU to cement and extend its dominance to the detriment of rivals and consumers.
“The federal government and state Attorneys General already should step in to limit Comcast/NBCU’s ability to cause competitive harm. When it comes to Comcast’s effort to acquire Fox assets, they need to say ‘No more.'”
About the American Cable Association: Based in Pittsburgh, the American Cable Association is a trade organization representing about 800 smaller and medium-sized, independent companies that provide broadband, phone and video services to nearly 8 million customers 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/