For Immediate Release
Contact: Ted Hearn
PITTSBURGH, July 2, 2018 — American Cable Association President and CEO Matthew M. Polka issued the following statement calling on corporate TV broadcaster Nexstar Media Group to end immediately its disgraceful retransmission consent blackout of Horry Telephone Cooperative (HTC) for CBS affiliate WBTW and the local MyNetworkTV station in the Myrtle Beach, S.C., area:
“Just ahead of the Fourth of July national holiday, Nexstar Media Group pulled the local CBS station and the MyNetworkTV station from Horry Telephone Cooperative (HTC), a smaller cable provider serving the greater Myrtle Beach community. Nexstar refused to allow HTC to carry the signals in question after HTC declined Nexstar’s ridiculous 163% rate hike. All cable subscribers shoulder the cost of broadcasters’ greedy retransmission consent demands because TV station owners insist that all subscribers take the package that includes local stations. HTC’s actions were designed to protect its community members from receiving a Nexstar-induced rate shock offered on obnoxious, take-it-or-leave terms.
“Instead of being a straight-forward business negotiation, retransmission consent is used by corporate broadcasters to abuse their market power to extract outrageous fees from cable customers. TV station owners typically extract the highest per-subscriber fees from a small cable operator like HTC. And there is no relief in sight: According to SNL Kagan, retransmission consent fees will rise from $8.6 billion last year to $11.6 billion within four years. Probably the most galling feature of the retransmission consent rip off is that TV stations tell consumers to blame the cable company. ACA remains hopeful that Congress, the FCC or both will recognize that retransmission consent laws and regulations need urgent reform.”
About the American Cable Association: Based in Pittsburgh, the American Cable Association is a trade organization representing about 800 smaller and medium-sized, independent companies that provide broadband, phone and video services to nearly 8 million customers 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: https://www.americancable.org/