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ACA applauds FCC’s decision to reexamine retransmission deals

Fri, 06/13/2008 - 8:25am
Mike Robuck

The American Cable Association (ACA) issued a press release in support of the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) plan to open a rulemaking to ensure that cable customers receive access to in-state broadcast signals.

Under current retransmission regulations, the broadcast networks are able to restrict cable customers’ access to local programming by prohibiting network affiliates from allowing cable operators to offer their signals into neighboring Designated Market Areas (DMAs), according to the ACA. The ACA said the current practice denies subscribers from viewing relevant local programming, including news, weather and sports coverage.

“The current retransmission consent regulations, and the anti-competitive practices they allow, have given broadcasters far too much control over the information available to cable customers,” said ACA President and CEO Matthew M. Polka. “Cable customers are unable to watch important local weather or coverage of their state capital, or even political advertising because their community falls outside the DMA. The DMAs were not designed to be literal borders separating communities from one another or important information, but under these regulations, that is exactly what has happened.”

The ACA said that it encouraged the FCC to quickly open a rulemaking, as mentioned in its localism proceeding, to address the broadcast networks’ refusal to grant retransmission consent for cable systems in adjacent, yet in-state, DMAs.

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