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Statement Of ACA Affirming Major Concern About Triopoly Retrans Power After Sale Of ABC Affiliate

PITTSBURGH, March 30, 2011 - "ACA presented the Federal Communications Commission with solid evidence that PBC Broadcasting engages in joint retransmission consent negotiations in other markets and will do the same in Topeka, Kansas, by acquiring ABC affiliate KTKA and then forming a local triopoly with the owner of the market's NBC and FOX affiliates.  Media consolidation on this large a scale harms consumers and competition, resulting in carriage fee hikes of at least 22%.

"In its opposition, PBC failed to refute any of ACA's assertions about the station sale's public interest harms and failed to present any evidence that the KTKA transaction will provide any public interest benefits to Topeka viewers.

"It is critically important for competition and Topeka's 180,000 TV homes that the FCC prevent PBC from jointly negotiating retransmission consent for KTKA with any broadcast station in the same market.  ACA's proposed condition would ban such a practice and would, if adopted, provide a narrowly tailored, transaction-specific remedy to this real problem.

"The party submitting a TV station sale to the FCC bears the burden of providing by a preponderance of the evidence that the proposed transaction, on balance, will serve the public interest.  The fact that PBC has not presented any evidence that the KTKA sale is in the public interest and that ACA has presented unchallenged evidence of the real public interest harms provides ample support for the FCC to deny or condition the sale."

About the American Cable Association Based in Pittsburgh, the American Cable Association is a trade organization representing nearly 900 smaller and medium-sized, independent cable companies who provide broadband services for more than 7.6 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 http://www.americancable.org/

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