ACA Calls NAB Arguments 'Red Herrings'
Broadcasters' Practices Should Fall Under
Ownership Rules For Retrans Negotiations'
The American Cable Association is urging the FCC to consider two separately owned TV stations from the same market as a single, commonly owned entity under the agency's ownership attribution rules if the two stations opt to coordinate their retransmission consent negotiations with multichannel video programming providers.
"ACA has put evidence in the record showing that scores of local TV stations are coordinating retransmission consent
negotiations and the effect is to lessen competition in local broadcasting markets," ACA President and CEO Matthew M. Polka said.
"To shield the public from harm arising from reductions in broadcast competition, the FCC should rule that separately owned TV stations in the same market will be considered a single entity if the stations coordinate their retransmission consent negotiations, effectively prohibiting combinations of top four rated stations that are directly forbidden under the existing local television duopoly rule.."
ACA stressed the need and appropriateness for the FCC to address ACA's well-documented concerns about coordinated retransmission consent negotiations in connection with the FCC's ongoing quadrennial review of its media ownership rules and policies. Further, ACA noted that the FCC - charged by law with promoting competition in local broadcast markets - should not be distracted by broadcasters' perpetual claims that anticompetitive broadcast practices are a matter solely for the antitrust authorities, even though the stations are FCC licensees.
In its comments, ACA underscored that broadcaster assertions about the efficiencies derived from various forms of sharing agreements are totally beside the point.
ACA Salutes Members Named To
The 2012 Class of Cable TV Pioneers
ACA chief Matt Polka issued a statement commending ACA Members Edward T. Holleran, Jr., of Atlantic Broadband and James A. Penney of Wave Broadband on their induction into the 2012 Class of Cable Television Pioneers: .
"Tested innovators like Ed Holleran and Jim Penney exemplify the entrepreneurial spirit of the independent cable operator, and all of us at ACA are delighted that these two honorable and dedicated ACA Members will enter the Class of 2012 of the Cable Television Pioneers. I'm confident that the cable industry's future is secure so long as it continues to recognize the lasting contributions of trailblazers like Ed and Jim. .
"I would also like to commend the Cable Television Pioneers on the selection of three other highly deserving people for induction into the Class of 2012: ACA Associate Member Kenneth S. Wood of CommScope; Lisa W. Schoenthaler of the NCTA; and Alan M. Tschirner of Tschirner Consulting..." .
Founded in 1966, the Cable Television Pioneers is an independent organization of individuals recognized and honored for their contributions to the cable television industry. To be chosen, Pioneers must serve 20 years in the cable industry and must make significant and meaningful contributions to the industry.
NCTC Makes Staff Changes;
Names Meyka EVP-Programming
Rich Fickle, NCTC President and CEO, has announced a series of changes at NCTC to better align the organization with member priorities and industry trends. Judy Meyka has been hired as EVP Programming and will oversee all programming negotiations. Judy is an industry veteran with experience at several MSOs in key programming roles; most recently, Meyka acted in a consulting capacity within the industry. In addition to negotiating the various renewals, NCTC will increase its focus on advanced video and OTT related rights for members. .
Frank Hughes, who is often referred to as the "face of the Co-op" by many NCTC members, is taking on the newly formed role as SVP Member Services. He will lead a team to work with the 950+ member companies to identify mutual strategic priorities, increase the participation level of members in NCTC contracts and help assist members with strategies to optimize their rights under existing programming agreements. .
Corey McCarthy, CFO for NCTC, will take on the additional role of SVP Business Development. His initial priority in the new role will be to help focus NCTC's collective purchasing abilities in the areas of hardware and software for the benefit of members. .
The "Hardware" department within NCTC has been renamed the "Technology Solutions Team" to expand its purview to encompass a variety of solutions related to TV Everywhere, IP VOD and High Speed Data opportunities. The direction and strategies will be driven largely by a newly formed advisory group comprised of top CTO's within the membership. NCTC is close to the completion of agreements providing members multiple partner solutions for TV Everywhere on a cost effective basis. Over 100 member companies representing over 1 million subscribers have expressed a desire to launch such services this year. On deck are additional efforts around home gateways, device management, data network optimization and DOCSIS 3.0 infrastructure. .
Jeff Nourse, SVP Legal Affairs, will also assume responsibilities for regulatory oversight which will include working closely with the ACA. Working more closely with ACA allows NCTC to take better advantage of opportunities to help influence existing regulations that in some cases impose significant burdens on smaller operators.
ACA Expands Board, Picks Three Directors
The American Cable Association has announced the addition of three new board members, highlighting the group's commitment to attracting diverse, dedicated and experienced individuals who are company executives willing to serve at the highest leadership level within the independent cable community. .
Joining the ACA Board are Kate Adams, CEO of James Cable in Braintree, Mass.; John Conrad, Legal Affairs Director of Liberty Cablevision in Luquillo, Puerto Rico; and Dave Keefe, CEO of Atlantic Broadband in Quincy, Mass. These new directors bring the board to 20 voting members. .
"I am very pleased that Kate, John and Dave have joined the ACA Board at such a crucial time in terms of the policy challenges we face as an organization," said ACA Chairwoman Colleen Abdoulah, who is Chairwoman and CEO of WOW! Internet, Cable and Phone. "Their background as tested cable industry executives will greatly assist the ACA Board in moving ahead with finding solutions to the critical issues of our day, including retransmission consent and access to content on fair and reasonable terms." .
Adams and Conrad, each appointed to three-year terms by the ACA Board, were assigned to fill new board seats. Keefe is filling the recently vacated seat of Scott Widham, CEO and founder of CoBridge Communications.
ACA Urges FCC Retention of HD Carriage
Exemption for 'Must Carry' Broadcasters
The American Cable Association is calling on the FCC to retain a consumer-friendly exemption that will allow eligible small cable operators to distribute in analog format so-called must carry TV signals received at their headend facilities in digital high-definition, a bandwidth-intensive format.
"The record makes plain that in order to avoid harm to small cable systems and consumers, the FCC must extend the HD carriage exemption, and it also demonstrates that the FCC should permanently exempt analog-only systems from the HD must-carry mandate," ACA President and CEO Matthew M. Polka said.