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ACA President Responds To Smaller TV Stations' Acknowledgement And Defense of Price Fixing

PITTSBURGH, December 22, 2011 - ACA President and CEO Matthew M. Polka, responding to a Dec. 21, 2011 letter filed with the Federal Communications Commission by an entity called the "Coalition of Smaller Market Television Stations," issued the following statement:

"It is unfathomable that smaller TV stations would not only admit that separately owned broadcasters in the same market collude in establishing retransmission consent pricing terms for cable and satellite TV operators, but would defend the practice as harmless.  Under any circumstances, there is simply no justification, legal or otherwise, for allowing TV station owners to engage in price fixing under the guise of resource "sharing agreements" that permit evasion of broadcast ownership limits, violate retransmission consent good faith rules, and defy antitrust statutes.

"Coordinated retransmission consent negotiations among separately owned broadcast stations in the same market lessen competition in local markets among broadcasters, and lead to harmful hikes in retransmission consent fees that consumers eventually see in their cable and satellite TV bills.  In the interest of promoting competition and protecting consumers, the FCC needs to prohibit this practice before a grandfathering mentality sets in and exceptions become the rule."

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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