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American Cable Association Announces Retransmission Consent Panel At ACA Summit 2012

Cable And Broadcast Representatives To Exchange Views Before Hundreds Of ACA Summit Attendees

PITTSBURGH, February 22, 2012 - The American Cable Association announced today that this year's ACA Summit will feature a panel discussion on retransmission consent, with experts from both sides of the issue prepared to defend their positions before hundreds of ACA Summit Attendees.

Advocating cable's position on the panel will be Barbara Esbin, Managing Partner, Cinnamon Mueller, and Cristina Pauze, Vice President of Regulatory Affairs, Time Warner Cable.  Sharing broadcasters' perspective will be Antionette Cook Bush, Partner, Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom, and John Hane, Counsel, Winthrop Shaw Pittman.  The panel, scheduled for March 14, at 1:45 p.m., will be moderated by journalist John Ourand, Media Reporter for Sports Business Journal.

"This panel, which includes two representatives each from the cable and broadcast industries, should highlight the key issues and the areas where cable and broadcasters both agree and disagree," ACA President and CEO Matthew M. Polka said. "ACA Summit Attendees will enjoy an informative and entertaining discussion on one of the most hotly debated topics in the pay-TV business and regulatory arenas."

ACA has been active on the retransmission consent issue for many years. It has argued that an increase in station blackouts and rapidly escalating retransmission fees demonstrate that the retransmission consent market is broken and old rules and regulations that underline the system need to be modernized.  Broadcasters, meanwhile, argue that broadcast carriage negotiations are occurring in a free market where bargaining impasses affecting consumers are rare and retransmission consent fees reflect value, not bargaining leverage.  The FCC has sought comment on these matters in connection with a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) initiated in March, 2011.

The ACA Summit will also include a communications policy discussion with Federal Communications Commission Chairman Julius Genachowski and a Congressional Keynote Address by Sen. Mark Pryor (D-Ark.), a member of the Senate Commerce Committee, which has legislative jurisdiction over the cable and broadcast industries.

This year's ACA Summit will take place March 13-15 at the Grand Hyatt in downtown Washington, D.C.  The event is a unique opportunity for the leaders of companies that serve hometown America with advanced communications services to exchange public policy ideas with the Obama Administration, Capitol Hill lawmakers and senior FCC officials.

The Summit is most important forum nationally to honor the critical role performed by independent cable operators that serve remote regions of the country with world-class voice, video and broadband Internet services.

The theme for this year's show is "Geared Up For Progress," underscoring ACA's firm commitment to finding consensus that lead to progress on many critical issues, especially retransmission consent, broadband deployment and access to content on fair and reasonable terms.

ACA is currently seeking exhibitors and sponsors for the event.  Interested parties should contact Stacey Leech at sleech@americancable.org or (412)-922-8300, ext. 15.

Further information about the ACA Summit 2012 agenda and the exciting lineup of speakers will be made available on the ACA Summit 2012 website closer to the time of the event.

Meanwhile, to register and learn more about ACA Summit 2012, please visit: ACASummit.org

About the American Cable Association:  Based in Pittsburgh, the American Cable Association is a trade organization representing nearly 850 smaller and medium-sized, independent cable companies who provide broadband services for more than 7.4 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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