ACA Connects says Gray Television’s contractual prohibition on granting carriage of a TV station to MVPD C Spire Fiber makes a mockery of the FCC’s good faith retransmission consent negotiations and market modification process. That came in comments to the FCC on C Spire’s retrans complaint and request for declaratory ruling.
As owners of earth stations, broadcasters may be able to cut themselves in for a portion of the billions that satellite operators hope to get from the sale of some of their C-band spectrum to 5G wireless carriers. But I’d rather see the taxpayers get the excess proceeds.
With the Satellite Television Extension and Localism Act Reauthorization (STELAR) set to expire at the end of the year, the American Cable Association’s Ross Lieberman was optimistic there could be some retransmission consent reform included in its renewal.
Sinclair Broadcast Group is attacking a petition filed at the FCC by the American Cable Association calling for regulators to review whether the owner of several Fox- and ABC-affiliated stations around the nation’s capital is still fit to hold broadcast licenses.
Common Cause signals it has retrans, other issues; ACA likely to follow.
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.”
The American Cable Association today launched TV Ransom, a national campaign to “set the record straight that corporate broadcasters are to blame for out-of-control retransmission consent fees and TV station blackouts […]
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.
The FCC should slap any approval of the proposed $4.6 billion acquisition of Media General by Nexstar Broadcasting Group with conditions that would limit the impact on consumers who might otherwise be forced to pay higher fees, the American Cable Association has told the FCC.
The broadcasting trade group says the cable group’s plan against bundling niche programming channels goes against the Communications Act and would result in “a less informed and educated nation.”
Dish Network and the American Cable Association continue to put pressure on Nexstar’s $4.6 billion purchase of rival broadcaster Media General. Meeting with the FCC along with officials for the International Telephone and Telecommunications Alliance, the pay TV industry reps asked the agency to impose “baseball-style” arbitration for approval of the deal.
The American Cable Association lashed out at FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler’s announcement that his agency will not change rules governing broadcast retransmission licensing negotiations. “ACA is shocked and appalled that FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler, who has placed such urgency in reducing consumer confusion in the marketplace, has decided to leave unchanged the retransmission consent regime,” said ACA President and CEO Matthew Polka, in a statement.
The MVPDs continue to nag the FCC to regulate retrans, arguing that they are being forced to pay too much for broadcast signals. But new data from SNL Kagan once again confirms that broadcasters are being undervalued and underpaid by the MVPDs for their signals — and always have been. Broadcasters account for a third of the MVPDs’ audience, yet they receive only 16.7% of the fees the MVPDs pay to programmers.
It’s safe to say that if the FCC moves forward with its set-top box proposal, which seeks to open up the set-top market to third-party vendors, cable will sue. In separate media briefings Thursday, both NCTA and ACA executives made it clear that they won’t hesitate to take the commission to court.
The American Cable Association’s 23rd Summit on March 2 will feature a panel of experts to discuss what the shifting video landscape means for the independent cable community and consumers.
The cable trade group tells the FCC that in the nearly five years since the commission began looking to reform its retransmission consent rules, “two retransmission consent election cycles have come and gone, consumers have experienced 558 blackouts, prices have risen about 40% each year and demands for carriage of other and often unwanted programming have increased. The time for decisive and muscular commission action has arrived.”
The FCC’s net neutrality rules came under a new legal assault Tuesday, as AT&T and the major wireless and cable industry groups sued to overturn the order. AT&T and its trade group CTIA — The Wireless Association, which also represents Verizon, Sprint and T-Mobile, filed lawsuits in the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals, as did the National Cable & Telecommunications Association, whose members include Comcast, Time Warner Cable and Cablevision. The American Cable Association, which represents smaller cable operators, went to the same court.
There was little doubt that AT&T’s proposed acquisition of DirecTV would draw opposition from many quarters in media and entertainment. The NAB and the American Cable Association, a trade org for smaller cable operators, were blunt in raising objections to the latest Big Media mega-merger.
FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler will speak at the American Cable Association’s Washington Summit on Wednesday, April 2, to share his ideas and outlook for U.S. communications policy in the coming […]
The Pittsburgh-based American Cable Association has been dogged in attacking joint sales and shared services agreements that some broadcasters use to operate more stations in a market than they may own under the FCC’s local ownership limits.
The cable trade group tells FCC Chairman Wheeler that the commission should review all station sales in which licensees have or plan to enter into coordination agreements such as shared services agreements to avoid violating the commission’s media ownership rule.
The cable group tells the FCC that the $90 million purchase of eight stations uses joint sales agreements to sidestep FCC ownership regulations that bar ownership of two of the top four rated TV stations in a market.
The American Cable Association tells the FCC that the proposed purchase of seven stations will mean Sinclair will be able to negotiate retransmission consent deals for multiple stations in both Harrisburg, Pa., and Charleston, S.C.
Porter Novelli’s Brian Frederick: “The NAB’s charges [that the vast majority of retrans blackouts involve DirecTV, Dish Network and Time Warner Cable] are ludicrous, as anyone with even a basic understanding of how business works can attest. There is nothing more frustrating for TV consumers than blackouts so it’s absurd to think that pay TV distributors would intentionally upset their customers and risk losing them. As long as distributors are prohibited from importing a distant network signal and broadcasters can drop signals on cable and satellite, broadcasters can demand whatever they want for a local signal, knowing that most viewers primarily just care about network programming anyway.”
The American Cable Association calls on FCC to let operators continue carrying broadcast stations during contract fights. A cable or satellite operator would pay rates under the previous contract, with a retroactive “true-up” once a new deal is signed.
The group tells the FCC that cable operators’ contention that broadcasters representing multiple stations through ownership or contractual arrangements have undue leverage is “distorting the record.”
In his call for a GAO study, the Senate Commerce Committee Chairman says joint sales and shared services agreements that allow a broadcast group to operate multiple stations in markets where the FCC rules say it may own just one might “artificially serve to inflate retransmission consent rates … and drive up subscription fees for pay television consumers.”
The FCC commissioner tells the American Cable Association’s Summit in Washington that he understood programming blackouts that sometimes accompany retrans negotiations “aggravate consumers. We don’t have the ability to dictate the outcome or to some extent the process of retransmission consent negotiations.” The group has meetings on the Hill and at the FCC on tap for Thursday.
The cable trade group says evidence demonstrates broadcasters’ anticompetitive conduct reduces competition in local markets.
Continued extension of the small cable operator exception to the rule requiring carriage of high-def much-carry channels is needed more now than when it was adopted in 2008, the trade group says.
At the opening of the American Cable Association’s Washington Summit, Chairwoman Colleen Abdoulah also says escalating sports programming costs must be addressed.