In the turnabout is fair play department, the American Cable Association has told the FCC that if it accepts a joint proposal by cable operators and broadcasters to allow TV stations to make their carriage elections by email rather than certified letter, it should do the same for requirements that cable operators send notices to TV stations by certified mail.
The American Cable Association wants to make sure that Gray is not allowed to raise the retrans fees of stations before spinning them off to other buyers in its purchase of Raycom’s TV stations. That’s according to an ACA filing at the FCC.
The cable association urges the FCC not to act on raising the 39% ownership cap before knowing how much such an action could increase cable rates. ACA wants the commission to consult with the new Office of Economics and Analytics and seek an econometric analysis
The trade group told the FCC that “should broadcasters insist on ATSC 3.0 carriage in their negotiations with ACA members … we will not hesitate to present these facts to the commission in a petition for reconsideration.”
During a wide-ranging, even soul-searching conversation on C-SPAN, American Cable Association President Matt Polka said the business of providing TV service “isn’t what it used to be … and as a business it is failing.” Polka was interviewed for C-SPAN’s Communicators series in an episode that aired June 3, with reairings June 5 on CSPAN2.
In comments to the FCC on the next-gen TV rulemaking, the American Television Alliance and the American Cable Association list a number of concerns including making sure the transition is truly voluntary for all parties and preventing broadcasters from conditioning carriage of ATSC 1.0 signals on initial carriage of ATSC 3.0 signals byrequiring separate negotiations of the two.
A group of cable network producers ask the FCC to ensure that any 3.0 rulemaking will not result in cable nets being dropped by MVPDs because they are required to carry both ATSC 1.0 and ATSC 3.0 signals “for an indeterminate period of time.”
The American Cable Association has joined several indie programmers in asking the FCC to make the unbundling of channels a top priority. The ACA and its partners say the FCC should restrict large pay-TV operators from entering into unconditional “most favored nation” contracts with programmers. The group also wants the FCC to examine MFN demands from broadcasters, as well as to restrict “unreasonable” alternative distribution method deals.