American Cable Association President and CEO Matthew M. Polka issued the following statement on June 16 regarding the decision by a group of commonly owned TV stations to file a complaint at the Federal Communications Commission alleging a failure to bargain in good-faith by DirecTV:
"It is without doubt that the TV stations that filed the FCC complaint against DirecTV discarded the National Association of Broadcasters' talking points about how retransmission consent is working perfectly and change is out of the question.
"Judging from the TV stations' complaint, it is evident that the retransmission consent market is broken and not working for these broadcasters any better than for cable operators. The time has come for these TV stations and others that have also filed good faith complaints to step out from NAB's long shadow and join ACA in supporting efforts to update the rules and equip them with a strong referee that can help protect consumers and competition when negotiations break down." Read more
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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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.
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.
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.
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.
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
"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."
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
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
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
|27||American Cable Praises Commissioner Clyburn On Call For Program Access Reform After AT&T-DirecTV Approval|
|24||American Cable Calls On FCC To Lessen Paperwork Burdens On Small And Medium-Sized ISPs|
|22||Protections For Consumers And Competition Missing From FCC Chairman’s AT&T-DirecTV Approval Plan|
|22||Respected Wall Street Analyst Supports ACA On Rising Programming Costs As A Threat To Broadband Investment|
|22||ACA Eagle Awards Given To GCI's Terry Nidiffer, Cinnamon Mueller's Christopher Cinnamon|
|22||ACA Presents Top Awards At 10th Independent Show|
|22||GCI's Tina Pidgeon, Vyve's Vin Zachariah Elected To ACA Board|
|22||ACA Looks Ahead, Unveils New Logo At 10th Independent Show|
|24||FCC Ex Parte Letter to Media Bureau Chief re Amending the Retransmission Consent Rules (Totality of the Circumstances Standard)|
|20||FCC Paperwork Reduction Act Comments re Open Internet Order's Enhanced Transparency Requirements|
|14||FCC Ex Parte re the AT&T/DirecTV Transaction w/ Office of the General Counsel|
In order to protect the interests of independent cable operators, it is essential that members of Congress understand and respect the important role that ACA's more than 900 small and medium sized companies play in delivering communications services to more than 7 million households across the United States.
|3||Quarterly Telecommunications Reporting Worksheet - Form 499A|
|31||Copyright Statement of Accounts|
|1||Local Telephone Competition and Broadband Reporting - Form 477|
|30||Annual EEO Report - Form 396-C|
Featured Associate Member
Leslie Gadsby - Manager
SES, a leading satellite operator, is providing free antenna equipment to qualified cable operators to access programming from SES satellites AMC-1, AMC-18 and SES-1.