ACA Commends Mediacom For Asking FCC To Curb Programmer Abuses
PITTSBURGH, July 23, 2014 - American Cable Association President and CEO Matthew M. Polka issued the following statement regarding Mediacom's July 21 petition at the Federal Communications Commission seeking to counter anti-competitive practices by broadcasters and other industry programmers:
"ACA commends Mediacom for filing at the Federal Communications Commission a petition that seeks an expedited rulemaking proceeding to consider and adopt specific rules addressing programmers' anti-competitive and anti-consumer bundling, volume discounting and online blocking practices. Skyrocketing cable bills will keep infuriating consumers until something is done to curb the market power abuses of broadcasters and cable programmers. National programmers notoriously force consumers to take unwanted channels through harmful bundling and packaging practices. Moreover, these programmers and broadcasters provide discriminatory volume-based discounts in programming carriage agreements to larger multichannel video programming distributors (MVPDs), harming the competitive position of smaller MVPDs forced to pay higher per-subscriber content fees. When smaller MVPDs dare to take a stand against those discriminatory rates, some large programmers resort to blocking MVPD consumers' access to free online content. It is long past time that all of these anti-consumer practices - as well as the specific terms and conditions of these carriage deals - are reviewed and addressed in broad daylight so the public can draw fact-based conclusions about how to reform this dysfunctional market."