[opendtv] Re: News: ACA To Take Aim at FCC After Sinclair/Mediacom Retrans Deal

From a selfish point of view I'd like to see retrans consent laws changed such that after a few months of failed negotiations and no HD NBC in my city the cable company would also be free to deal with distant network sources.


It is annoying to think that a broadcaster whose distant signal I can't receive anyway can have exclusive rights to choose to not deliver in my area.

Likewise for the CW channel which has cut a deal for SD carriage as a sub-channel with the local ABC broadcaster. If the HD channel is available somewhere else the cable company should be able to negotiate to carry it.

I realize there are precedents and rationales for all of this but it still seems unnecessary restraint of trade to me and not really in my interests as a consumer, voter, and taxpayer. We need to apply some sort of use-it-or-lose it guidelines to network IP rights.

- Tom


John Willkie wrote:
Since the Fed won't go anything about it, I think Congress has to do
something that requires bankers to hand out money to anybody who asks.

I'm going to call my banker friend and see what he thinks about it.

John Willkie
EtherGuide Systems



-----Original Message-----
From: opendtv-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx [mailto:opendtv-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx]
On Behalf Of Craig Birkmaier
Sent: Tuesday, February 06, 2007 5:34 AM
To: OpenDTV Mail List
Subject: [opendtv] News: ACA To Take Aim at FCC After Sinclair/Mediacom
Retrans Deal

http://www.broadcastingcable.com/article/CA6413581.html?display=Breaking+N
ews&referral=SUPP&nid=2228

ACA To Take Aim at FCC After Sinclair/Mediacom Retrans Deal
By John Eggerton -- Broadcasting & Cable, 2/5/2007 4:24:00 PM

Look for the American Cable Association to take aim at the
FCC and broadcasters in the wake of Friday's retransmission consent
deal between Sinclair and cable operator Mediacom.
Matthew Polka, President of ACA, which represents smaller and
mid-sized cable operators, told B&C the group was preparing to issue
a statement expressing its displeasure with the FCC and calling for
Congressional action on retransmission consent.

"FCC has completely abdicated its public authority to regulate
retransmission consent for the benefit of consumers," Polka said,
arguing that the deal was a case not of the marketplace working, but
of Sinclair leveraging "every benefit of federal rules to the
detriment of consumers."

The FCC concluded that Sinclair had not bargained in bad faith and
that it did not have the power to force the broadcaster to restore
stations it had pulled from Mediacom Jan. 6. FCC Chairman Kevin
Martin encouraged arbitration, but backed up the Media Bureau's
decision that it could not intervene, even though a couple of
powerful Congressmen suggested it could.

He said that the retransmission consent process unfairly
disadvantages his member companies, but more importantly the
subscribers to those companies, because they wind up paying more than
the subs of big cable companies like Time Warner, with which Sinclair
struck a deal just before Mediacom, but without pulling any stations
from its systems to get the deal done.

Polka suggested that there appeared to be "no amount of behavior on
broadcasters part that amounts to bad faith," adding, "That process
is not usable."

Saying the Sinclair/Mediacom deal solved nothing, Polka added that
there are "millions of other consumers who stand to be harmed,"
citing the hundreds of millions CBS's Les Moonves says he expects to
get for his stations in the next round of retransmission consent
negotiations over the next couple of years.

The National Association of Broadcasters declined comment and
Sinclair had not returned a call at press time.


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--
Tom Barry                       trbarry@xxxxxxxxxxx     
Find my resume and video filters at www.trbarry.com


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