NCTC fires off letter to Viacom CEO seeking blackout ban

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NCTCThe National Cable Television Cooperative (NCTC), on behalf of American Cable Association (ACA) members, sent a letter 3/30 asking Viacom CEO Philippe Dauman not to drop channels or cut online access while negotiations are still underway. ACA is also working with NCTC to keep Members of Congress informed of progress in its members’ programming renewal negotiations with Viacom.


The deadline is 11:59 p.m. on 3/31.

Dear Mr. Dauman:

The National Cable Television Cooperative (NCTC) is appreciative of your time to meet with us recently to discuss the negotiations we are working through with your company to secure a new programming carriage agreement for NCTC’s small and independent operators.

As difficult as these negotiations have become, NCTC is committed to staying at the table for as long as necessary to reach an agreement that is fair to our customers, most importantly, and also to both of us.

Notable progress has been made over the last several days with both teams working together diligently every day.

However, as we approach the March 31 deadline as long as we both remain committed to reaching a deal, we urge you not to put customers in the middle by either turning your networks off, requiring local cable operators to remove their Viacom channels or blocking consumer access to online content generally available to the public.

Let’s both pledge to put the public first.

A blackout by Viacom would impact 5.2 million consumers in small towns and rural communities across the country and it would be unfair to deny them access while we are working around-the-clock to try to finalize an agreement.

Sincerely,

Rich Fickle, President and CEO

National Cable Television Cooperative


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Carl has been with RBR-TVBR since 1997 and is currently Managing Director/Senior Editor. Residing in Northern Virginia, he covers the business of broadcasting, advertising, programming, new media and engineering. He’s also done a great deal of interviews for the company and handles our ever-growing stable of bylined columnists.