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FCC Reply Comments regarding the News Corp. Petition for Modification of Conditions

Submission Date: 
05/16/2008

I. INTRODUCTION AND SUMMARY

ACA’s Opposition1 sets forth ample basis for the Commission to deny the Petition2 and to continue to enforce the conditions governing transactions with News Corp.-affiliated RSNs and broadcast stations for their full term.3 The record in this proceeding corroborates ACA’s Opposition and provides additional grounds for denying the Petition, particularly as the News Corp. conditions apply to small and medium-sized cable companies.

With these Reply Comments, we also place on the record News Corp.’s very recent reports of record financial performance by its broadcast and cable networks.  These public statements eliminate any shred of credibility to the Petition’s claims that News Corp. would somehow suffer from a “competitive disadvantage” if the conditions were not terminated early.

These Reply Comments do not address comments in support of the Petition. None were filed.

On this record, the Petition must fail.

The American Cable Association. ACA represents nearly 1,100 independent cable businesses serving 7.5 million cable subscribers primarily in smaller markets and rural areas. ACA member systems are located in all 50 states and in virtually every congressional district. ACA members range from family-run cable businesses serving a single town to multiple system operators that focus on smaller systems and smaller markets. About half of ACA’s members serve less than 1,000 subscribers. All ACA members face the challenges of building, operating, and upgrading broadband networks in lower density markets.

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1 In the Matter of General Motors Corporation and Hughes Electronics Corporation, Transferors, and The News Corporation Limited, Transferee, For Authority to Transfer Control, News Corp. Petition for Modification of Conditions, MB Docket 03-124, Opposition of the American Cable Association (filed May 1, 2008) (“Opposition”).

2 In the Matter of General Motors Corporation and Hughes Electronics Corporation, Transferors, and The News Corporation Limited, Transferee, For Authority to Transfer Control, MB Docket 03-124, News Corp. Petition for Modification of Conditions (filed Mar. 11, 2008) ("News Corp. Petition").

3 In the Matter of General Motors Corporation and Hughes Electronic Corporation, Transferors, and The News Corporation Limited, Transferee, For Authority to Transfer Control, Memorandum Opinion and Order, 19 FCC Rcd. 473, ¶¶ 172-179 (2004) (imposing conditions on RSN transactions), ¶¶ 218-226 (imposing conditions on retransmission consent transactions), ¶¶ 176, 220 (imposing conditions on transactions with small and medium-sized cable operators) (“News Corp. Order”). 

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