ACA Weighs In With FCC On MVPD E-Mails, Retrans


In a 22-page submission made Monday (3/5) to the FCC, the American Cable Association (ACA) submitted Reply Comments in the FCC’s docket on the Electronic Delivery of MVPD Communications by asking the Commission to adopt its proposal to permit cable operators to deliver all Subpart T subscriber notices and privacy notices to a verified e-mail address, subject to certain consumer safeguards, and to allow all such notices to be sent on an “opt-out” basis.

In the reply comments, ACA asserted that there is widespread support for its positions that the Commission should allow for greater electronic communications between MVPDs and their subscribers, and that no commenters had objected to any of the FCC’s proposals.

The chief lobbying organization for small-sized and/or small-market MVPDs also noted that commenting parties generally agreed that electronic delivery of all subscriber notices should be allowed on an opt-out basis, and that the FCC should give MVPDs greater flexibility to post such notices on their websites and direct subscribers to those online notices, rather than send them to subscribers directly.

The record also supports ACA’s position that two rules related to the compatibility of cable systems with outdate consumer equipment should be eliminated.

The NPRM in this proceeding also touched on the issue of allowing electronic delivery of broadcast carriage election notices to MVPDs.  ACA expressed support for proposals by NCTA and Verizon that would require broadcast stations to send electronic carriage notices to an e-mail address designated by each MVPD.

To ensure that broadcast stations are aware of the correct e-mail address to which they should send their notices, MVPDs would be required to post a dedicated e-mail address in their online public inspection file.  Cable systems that are exempt from the FCC’s public inspection file rules would be required to post their dedicated e-mail addresses to their COALS profile.

ACA also proposed that broadcasters be required to copy an FCC-hosted e-mail address on their electronic notices so that the FCC could confirm that stations have met their obligations to send completed notices to the correct e-mail address in a timely fashion.

To further ease burdens on broadcasters, ACA also supported NCTA’s proposal to allow broadcasters to send a single notice to each MVPD in a designated market area, rather than sending separate notices to each individual system, as currently required.

ACA objected to proposals, set forth by multiple broadcasters, that stations be permitted to fulfill their notice obligations by posting their election notices in their online public inspection file.

ACA also objected to proposals that would change the cable carriage election default from must carry to retransmission consent.