ACA Asks FCC to Gauge Impact of Programming Costs

The American Cable Association says that the FCC needs to let Congress know that rising programming costs contribute to dwindling numbers of smaller MVPDS and wants the FCC to collect more data on the impact of those costs on system closings.

That came in comments on the FCC's next video competition report to Congress — comments were due Aug. 21.

"ACA encourages the FCC to recognize in its next video competition report the fact that smaller systems continue to close at a steady rate, affecting thousands of subscribers in rural and hard-to-serve areas," said ACA President Matt Polka.

ACA said that, since 2008, 1,169 cable systems serving 55,302 sub have shut down, removing them as a competitive option, which meant in many cases customers having to pay more.

ACA concedes that there are numerous regulatory factors that have contributed to the decline in smaller systems, but said that "runaway programming costs" are a primary culprit.

John Eggerton

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.