Progress Made, but FCC Action Necessary to Protect All Consumers
PITTSBURGH, August 12, 2008 -The American Cable Association (ACA) President and CEO, Matthew M. Polka released the following statement in response to an announcement made today by some members of the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) that they will support a quiet period for retransmission consent negotiations in the weeks before and after the February 17, 2009, DTV transition. The quiet period resolution approved today by the NAB’s Television Board of Directors, falls well short of the consumer-focused 6-month proposal of January 1-May 31, 2009, supported by ACA earlier this year (available here).
“The American Cable Association welcomes the actions of some members of the National Association of Broadcasters for a retransmission consent “quiet period” during the 2009 DTV transition. Retransmission consent disputes harm consumers, and ACA appreciates this step. Taking retransmission consent disputes off the table before the DTV transition and for a reasonable time afterward will benefit cable customers and television viewers everywhere and encourage a smoother transition to digital television. While we appreciate those NAB members’ willingness to embrace a retransmission consent quiet period, a start date of Feb. 4, 2009, is simply too late and will not go far enough to protect consumers, whose signals could be pulled by broadcasters before Feb. 4. ACA believes that a quiet period should begin no later than Jan. 1, 2009, if not earlier, and run through May 31, 2009, to ensure consumers are not confused or lose broadcast signals during this critical transition period, and ACA urges prompt FCC action to require such a quiet period. FCC action is necessary to implement a quiet period for all broadcasters and cable operators. The pledge announced today by some NAB members, while appreciated, does not cover all broadcasters, many of whom are in markets served by ACA’s members.”
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About the American Cable Association
Based in Pittsburgh, the American Cable Association is a trade organization representing 1,100 smaller and medium-sized, independent cable companies who provide broadband services for more than 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 www.americancable.org.
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