“ACA commends the FCC for asking the right questions in the program access NPRM released yesterday. Importantly, the FCC asks whether the program access rules adequately address potentially discriminatory volume discounts, and if not, how to revise the rules to address these concerns. The FCC also seeks comment on whether and how to revise rules that address uniform price increases imposed by vertically integrated, cable operator-owned programmers.
ACA members have extensive experience negotiating program access contracts with suppliers, relying on the program access rules to ensure small cable operators are able to receive a fair bargain. ACA has long held that FCC regulations are flawed because they leave small operators with no more than a few remedies, if that, to combat vertically integrated suppliers of programming that demand discriminatory prices, terms, and conditions, and engage in other types of behavior barred by the rules.
In previous filings, ACA has highlighted that the program access rules place no restriction on quantity discounts; provide no automatic right to continued carriage while complaints await FCC action; do not address arbitrary internal transfer pricing; and may not apply to programming for online distribution by
Multichannel Video Programming Distributors (MVPDs).
ACA applauds the FCC for hearing the concerns of small cable operators and for seeking comment on the critical issues.
About the American Cable Association:
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ACA supports independent cable operators and their customers by promoting a legislative and regulatory environment that allows for a fair and competive marketplace and by providing the tools and information our members need to compete effectively