PITTSBURGH, April 27, 2015 – American Cable Association President and CEO Matthew M. Polka issued the following statement regarding Verizon FiOS’ decision to give consumers new options in their purchase of video programming:
“ACA has believed for some time that the current programming model on cable would dramatically change as big programmers’ prices and bundling requirements increased and as consumers sought ways outside of the cable bundle to consume video. Verizon deserves credit for putting this programming cost issue in the national spotlight by offering a small-sized service that programmers say their contracts do not permit. Responses by the large programmers to the Verizon’s Custom TV plan only underscore what everyone already knew – programming contracts prohibit cable operators from giving their customers more of the choice that they want.
“As these programming fights continue, the issue of ‘skinny bundles’ will become not only a programming contract dispute with the big networks, but also a public policy question regarding who is looking out most for the consumer. According to a recent ACA study provided to the Federal Communications Commission, soaring programming costs are a drag on new broadband deployment. ACA’s study showed that a market where a multichannel video programming distributor (MVPD) can offer skinnier bundles is more conducive to new broadband deployment in the future.
“ACA has long held that pay-TV consumers deserve alternatives to the take-it-or-leave-it big bundle when purchasing video programming from MVPDs. In fact, ACA in 2008 first called on the programming giants to provide alternatives to bundling through genre tiers and even a la carte for expensive channels. Largely panned then by programmers and MSOs alike, ACA’s solutions are gaining in popularity, so it is not surprising to see Verizon’s actions. ACA hopes that more will be forthcoming as providers look to give their customers more of what they want.”
About the American Cable Association: Based in Pittsburgh, the American Cable Association is a trade organization representing about 850 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/