PITTSBURGH, Nov. 16, 2017 – American Cable Association President and CEO Matthew M. Polka issued the following statement regarding the Federal Communications Commission’s vote to relax its Media Ownership rules:
“The FCC today has set the stage for vast consolidation in local television markets -consolidation that could lead to more blackouts and higher cable bills. When a television station controls one of the “Big Four” networks in a market, it already has small cable operators and their subscribers over a barrel. If it can control two or more such networks, there are few limits to what it can demand, or how much it can punish cable operators who do not cave in to these demands. The FCC knows this because it explicitly found so just three years ago.
“Congress and the Department of Justice reached the exact same conclusion. Yet today, the FCC decided it would allow some “top-four” combinations anyway. Under the new rule, stations will still have to show why a particular top-four combination serves the public interest. We think such a showing will be difficult in light of the proven impact on cable subscribers’ pocket books. If the FCC implements its new rule fairly and responsibly, top-four combinations should remain rare – or subject to conditions designed to mitigate these proven harms. We intend to remain vigilant to make sure this happens.”
About the American Cable Association: Based in Pittsburgh, the American Cable Association is a trade organization representing about 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 https://acaconnects.org/