ACA To FCC: Comcast-Time Warner Cable-Charter Deal Will Drive Up Pay-TV Bills

The American Cable Association urged the Federal Communications Commission to condition the pending Comcast-Time Warner Cable-Charter transaction to protect millions of pay-TV consumers from seeing higher monthly bills for essentially the same multichannel video programming distributor (MVPD) service.

"This merger will increase the size of Comcast and Charter, resulting in an unprecedented consolidation of content and distribution. It would result in higher costs to consumers and reduced competition. Without adequate remedies, consumers and competition will suffer under the Comcast-Time Warner Cable-Charter deal," ACA President and CEO Matthew M. Polka said. Read More

Grassroots Pledge

I know it's important for Congress to hear my voice and that I have the power to make a difference in the halls of Congress and the FCC. Taking action to express my concerns to my Member of Congress will have a positive impact for the small cable industry. Each small action I take can make a difference for my company. In order to become a Grassroots Champion, I know I must PLEDGE to take action and get involved to benefit my business, employees and customers!

YES, I take the pledge to become a Grassroots Champion!

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Win a TRIP to the 2014 ACA Summit!

ACA's advocacy is based on telling policymakers in Washington, D.C.,  about  issues that impact you and your business.  Tell us your Top Three Issues, and you can win an ALL EXPENSE PAID TRIP to the ACA Summit.

The prize, valued at more than $1,500, includes three nights lodging at the Grand Hyatt, Washington and Registration, which includes the following:

Share Your Cable Story -- Win a FREE TRIP to the ACA Summit!

ACA's advocacy is based on telling the stories of our cable operator members to policymakers in Washington. Hearing how public policy issues impact you and your business is very important.

So important, in fact, that we're offering a free, ALL EXPENSE PAID TRIP to the ACA Summit to the cable operator that shares the most compelling story. The prize, valued at more than $1,500, includes roundtrip airfare, lodging at the Gaylord National Resort, and registration at the ACA Summit, including meals. The deadline to submit your story is Tuesday, March 26. For additional information and official contest rules, click here

Canby Telcom (Oregon City, OR)

We thought we'd be lucky enough to avoid getting into any retransmission consent disputes during this round of talks, but we never expected to see the sorts of demands that were being put forth by Fisher Communications. The broadcaster demanded substantially higher fees than those being requested by the other station owners in our Portland, Oregon market. We were also told that their ABC affiliated would be yanked from our channel lineup unless we agreed to all of their prices, terms, and conditions.

DTV Transition to be Delayed until June 12; Some Stations may Switch Earlier

Concerned that consumers were not adequately prepared for the digital transition set for February 17, Congress passed legislation last week that delayed the date when stations owners must stop broadcasting in analog to June 12.

The DTV delay bill, expected to be signed by the President, says stations may make the switch to digital before the June date, meaning there could be a rolling transition in some markets. However, the FCC retains the right to deny a broadcaster's request if it's not found to be in the public interest. Since the bill's passage, hundreds of stations have expressed interest in staying on track to transition in February.

DTV Transition Date Delayed, Stations Still Have Option to Switch on Feb. 17

 

Congressed passed a bill on January 28th to delay the transition from analog to digital television until June 12; however, the FCC said that those stations that wish to make the transition on February 17, the original date for the DTV switch, will have an option to do so.

ACA Lauds Chairmen Rockefeller and Waxman for Their Stance on Stimulus for Broadband Access



The ACA sent a letter to Chairmen John Rockefeller (D-WV) and Henry Waxman (D-CA) on February 3rd applauding the language of the current economic stimulus package and urging Congress to include federal grants and loans within the package to help small cable operators offer high-speed broadband access to their customers. The stimulus currently will provide funding to extend the national fiber network to areas outside major metropolitan cities.

Hiawatha Broadband Communications (Winona, MN)

It may be seem incongruous with the concept of localism, butexisting Federal rules and regulations hamper my company's ability to offer itscustomers, all of whom reside in Minnesota,with broadcast stations that provide their state's news, weather and sports.

~ Gary Evans, CEO

Cable Story: Sunrise Communications (Onaway, MI)

hometownstory

"Our small size would make it difficult to handle a dual carriage obligation. I don't know how an operator in our situation affords the headend equipment and other costs." 

Bob Goodenow, Manager

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» Tell your story!

Member Profile: Trust Communications (Jackson, MS)

hometownstory"Year after year, the broadcasters and programmers put pressure on our company to add their affiliated networks to my basic programming package resulting in a more bloated, costly tier with channels that my customers neither want nor can afford.  Most of our Communication's customers in rural communities are satisfied receiving only 65 channels as basic, especially those in low income areas - not everyone wants to pay for 125 channels."

Steven Inzinna, President

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» Tell your story!

 

CableCo dba TVision (Colorado Springs, CO)

hometownstory

With the upcoming round of retransmission consent negotiations, we know that we'll be forced to pay fees to broadcasters for the first time, and unfortunately our customers will have to foot the bill. As a small cable operator, programming is our already largest expense by far, and we simply cannot absorb any more increases in our carriage fees.

~David Shipley, Business Manager

Independent cable operators face unique challenges that require special consideration by the FCC in terms of how it deals with the digital television transition to ensure requirements do not impact the consumers or communities served - specifically, the digital must-carry requirements. Read More

 

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In order for small cable operators to provide their customers with popular programming, large programmers often make them provide undesired programming on their most widely subscribed to tiers. Consumers pay the price for this abusive practice with higher cable rates and programming that is not aligned with their interests.  Read More

 

» Key Developments
» Press Releases
» Headlines
» Filings, Testimonies, and Letters
» Resources

When broadcasters abuse their market power to demand exorbitant fees from cable operators who want to offer their signals, consumers always pay the price. Broadcasters often discriminate against small and medium-sized cable operators, extracting retransmission consent fees at substantially higher per-subscriber rates than charged larger providers. Read More

 

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