Midcontinent Communications has recently dropped out of the American Cable Association (ACA) over objections to a recent FCC filing by the ACA.

Midcontinent, which is jointly owned by Midcontinent Media and Comcast, offers triple-play services in urban and rural areas of South Dakota and North Dakota, but it also counts some of its 220,000 customers in parts of Minnesota and Nebraska.

Midcontinent joins the ranks of Bresnan Communications, which is also partly owned by Comcast, and Atlantic Broadband, who have left the ACA over the lobbying group’s filing with the FCC earlier this month on retransmission consent and program bundling.

“On behalf of more than 1,000 independent operators nationwide, the ACA filed comments at the FCC encouraging the agency to adopt new rules to allow small- and medium-sized cable operators to provide consumers with more choices and better value,” said ACA’s president and CEO Matthew Polka. “Small operators fall victim to programmers and broadcasters who leverage their market power during carriage negotiations. Our members, because of their size, struggle to keep programming costs down and provide more choice to consumers.”
Polka said the ACA was disappointed that a few of its operators have opted to leave the association. 

“However, Midcontinent and Bresnan were unique from the rest of our members because of their affiliations with Comcast, particularly with respect to their positions on programming issues,” Polka said. “The overwhelming majority of ACA members, comprising mostly family-owned small businesses without ties to any large programmers, broadcasters or MSOs, remain committed to ACA's efforts because they know firsthand about the failures in the market for independent small cable operators.”

Midcontinent was unavailable for comment earlier today.

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