PITTSBURGH, SEPTEMBER 9, 2011 – ACA President and CEO Matthew M. Polka issued the following statement regarding ESPN’s new $15 billion Monday Night Football television agreement with the National Football League.
“ESPN has struck a bad bargain for consumers. The sports network’s financially wanton deal will push the cost of pay-TV service into the stratosphere, making the product less and less affordable during a time of severe economic stress and high unemployment. Evidently, ESPN is pleased to be known as the worldwide leader of hyper-inflationary price hikes. Pardon the interruption but that’s just not cricket.
“Consumers need to understand that programmers like ESPN are responsible for the rising cost of cable and satellite TV. ESPN protects its ability to engage in reckless deal making by forcing pay-TV providers to carry the channel on the most basic programming tier that all subscribers must purchase, which means that consumers with no interest in sports are required to subsidize the sports fan. The pay-TV business model is broken because ESPN, the most expensive basic channel on cable and satellite, stubbornly refuses to give consumers the ability to opt out of costly programming they don’t care to watch. Loyal pay-TV customers should resent ESPN’s high-handed and inflexible business strategy.”
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/