Small cablers look for FCC relief


What the America Cable Association is to make sure broadcasters cannot leverage their market power to the detriment of the operators and their customers. It is looking for help in the areas of retransmission consent and program service bundling.

"When broadcasters use federal retransmission consent rules to deny choice and raise costs, it’s the consumer that pays the price," said Matthew M. Polka, president and CEO of ACA. "Likewise, it runs contrary to the public interest when programmers leverage their market power in carriage negotiations to force all consumers to take and pay for high-cost and niche programming to receive popular program channels."

ACA wants to assure that broadcasters must offer program services on a standalone basis at reasonable rates and terms; that they be prohibited from mandating tier placement; that price discrimination against small and medium systems is prohibited unless clearly justified; and asks for adjustments to the retrans complaint process to assure continued carriage while a complaint is pending.