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Independent Cable Operators and Independent Programmers Team Up to Fight Against Program Tying

PITTSBURGH, June 5, 2008 - The American Cable Association (ACA) welcomes the support of the recently formed National Association of Independent Networks (NAIN) that seeks the creation of a more competitive and diverse programming market by allowing cable operators to give its customers more choices and better value.  NAIN, a coalition of independent programming networks, with diverse and minority-focused programming, was organized to address the needs of independent programmers and specifically to oppose the practice of "program tying," regularly abused by broadcasters and major programming networks at the expense of consumers.

ACA has spearheaded efforts at the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and on Capitol Hill to reform programming tying practices that stand in the way of operators offering subscribers greater flexibility, lower prices, and more options.

"Forcing cable operators to carry channels that their subscribers don't want or watch is unreasonable," said ACA Presidentand Chief Executive Officer Matthew M. Polka, "but for smaller operators it is untenable.  Tying consumes valuable bandwidth and reduces the amount of diverse and minority programming operators are able to offer their consumers.

"Only the largest programming owners and broadcast groups benefit from the practice of tying," Polka continued.  "For everyone else, from the subscriber to operator, and the independent programmer whose content is pushed out by limited capacity, it is a lose-lose proposition. We are happy to have NAIN and its members on our side in this fight, and look forward to bringing choice and competition to the programming marketplace."

NAIN represents a wide range of independent programming networks from sports-related channels to some of the nation's most well established high-definition to minority-focused networks.  A partial list of founding members includes HDNet, the Hispanic Information & Telecommunications Network, The Horror Channel, and WealthTV. For more information, please visit www.NAINonline.org

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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 regulatoryand 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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