ACA Urges Regulators To Repair A Market Badly Damaged By Anticompetitive Conduct By Market-Dominant Content Providers
PITTSBURGH, November 30, 2009 – The American Cable Association supports TimeWarner Cable’s decision to educate the public that media giants that own cablenetworks and TV stations threaten to cut off viewers from their content unlessmultichannel programming distributors sign new contracts with egregiously largelicense fee increases.
“Small cableoperators and their customers, who cannot afford to engage in hand-to-handcombat with price-gouging media conglomerates, applaud Time Warner Cable’sefforts to ‘Get Tough’ with programmers in hopes that some modicum ofreasonableness will return to the market as a result,” ACA President andCEO Matthew M. Polka said.
ACA has urgedCongress and the Federal Communications Commission to fix the broken cable andbroadcast programming market, which increases costs and limits choices forconsumers. ACA has sought new regulations designed to ensure that owners ofcable networks and broadcast stations may not discriminate against small andmedium-sized cable operators by charging them higher fees than those paid bylarger operators in the same local market.
Also, ACA has urgedpolicymakers to take action to prevent media conglomerates from using theirmarket power to impose unreasonable tiering and penetration requirements onsmall cable operators, which results in consumers paying for programming thatthey have no interest in viewing.
In addition to theharms caused to cable customers, ACA maintains that the market abuses of thesemedia giants result in small cable operators having less money to build badlyneeded broadband infrastructure in rural communities and other economicallychallenging locations to serve.
“ACA hopes thatTime Warner Cable’s public relations campaign highlighting marketplacemisdoings will lead Congress and the FCC to recognize that cable networks andbroadcasters regularly abuse their market power — particularly against smallercable operators — to drive up the cost of cable, limit consumer choices, anddeplete capital that could be used to expand broadband in rural areas,”Polka said.
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About the AmericanCable Association
Based in Pittsburgh, the American Cable Association isa trade organization representing more than 900 smaller and medium-sized,independent cable companies who provide broadband services for more than 7million cable subscribers primarily located in rural and smaller suburbanmarkets across America. Through active participation in the regulatoryand legislative process in Washington, D.C., ACA’s members work together toadvance the interests of their customers and ensure the future competitivenessand viability of their business. For more information, visit https://acaconnects.org/