PITTSBURGH, October 20, 2010 – “On the malfunctioning ‘market’ for retransmission consent, Federal Communications Commission member Michael Copps couldn’t be more right and the spin masters at the broadcasting companies more wrong.
“Commissioner Copps is completely correct that ‘retransmission consent developed in another world in a vastly different media environment,’ and is perfectly reasonable in asking the FCC to intervene in a manner that protects the interests of consumers in the current dispute between Fox and Cablevision, a struggle, unfortunately, now in Day Five.
“ACA believes a full-blown FCC probe is appropriate, one that questions whether TV station owners that drop huge rate increases on unsuspecting small cable companies are obeying the law, and whether TV stations that formed real and virtual duopolies did so to exercise undue market power over small pay-TV providers.
“As ACA, Dish Network and DirecTV explained in a letter sent to FCC Chairman Genachowski today, Fox’s decision to cut off Cablevision broadband subscribers from Fox-affiliated Web content — including the free website Hulu.com, co-owned by NBC Universal – confirmed the need for FCC conditions that prevent Comcast-NBCU from engaging in copycat misconduct that threatens fair competition and the open Internet.
“ACA appreciates that Commissioner Copps shares our concern about the future of the Internet if a communications colossus like Comcast-NBCU has the incentive and ability to harm consumers and competition with impunity.
To void a repetition of the Fox episode, the FCC should protect all pay-TV subscribers’ access to online content in reviewing the proposed Comcast-NBCU merger.
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/