In their Petition for Reconsideration ("Petition"), the National Association of Broadcasters and the Association for Maximum Service Television, Inc. (collectively, "Petitioners"), ask the Commission to reconsider aspects of the Commission's Fourth Report and Order that provides a digital must carry exemption for small cable systems. Specifically, Petitioners propose that the exempted small cable systems must notify customers, affected must carry stations, and the Commission of its intent to utilize the exemption and the factual basis supporting its qualification for the exemption. ACA opposes the Petition for the following reasons:
The Petition places small cable operators at a competitive disadvantage, requiring them to provide notice, particularly to their customers, without a similar notice requirement on the DBS providers they compete against.
The Petition would obligate exempt cable systems to notify customers of the absence of an HD broadcast signal, without a corresponding notice requirement on broadcasters to notify their viewers when they do not offer HD content.
Petitioners' claim that broadcasters need system information from small cable operators does not withstand even superficial scrutiny.
The Petition would impose substantial administrative burdens and costs on small cable operators.
For these reasons, the Commission must deny the Petition.