ACA's position is that the retrans regime is outdated because they have failed to keep pace with the dynamic change in the delivery of video programming by cable, satellite and Internet-based distribution platforms that has occurred in the 20 years since the rules were first enacted by Congress. Until the law and rules change, everyone can expect that TV station owners will continue to push their `blackmail or blackout' strategy to the detriment of consumers and competition.
"Tribune's blackout is hardly unique," Polka explained. "Cordillera Communications, owner of NBC affiliate KRIS, Telemundo affiliate KAJA, CW South Texas and independent station KDF in Corpus Christi, Texas, pulled its signals from Time Warner Cable on Dec. 12, 2011, some 111 days ago, resulting in the cable operator's customers not being able to watch the Super Bowl."
Polka added: "ACA is hopeful that Tribune's actions will set the stage this year for final action at the FCC on the pending rulemaking to reform retransmission consent rules and will spur the U.S. House and Senate to hold a series of hearings on the video marketplace, particularly the decades-old retransmission consent rules."
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