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ACA: FCC Needs to Revamp Retrans, Check Programming Costs

American Cable Association chairwoman Colleen Abdoulah Wednesday hammered broadcasters on retransmission consent and called on the FCC to take action on "modernizing" the rules and checking escalating programming costs.

"We all know that the retransmission consent law is out of date. Modernizing this law would demonstrate that Congress is capable of acting on overwhelming evidence that broadcasters are abusing their market power to swell their bottom line," she planned to tell a gathering of ACA members in Washington for its annual summit Wednesday.

She also put in a plug for legislation introduced last fall that would get rid of the retrans/must carry regime entirely, as well as media ownership rules.

"Last December, Sen. Jim DeMint of South Carolina and Rep. Steve Scalise of Louisiana proposed market-oriented bills that would eliminate video laws and regulations that unfairly advantage the broadcast industry," she said. "We look forward to working with Sen. DeMint and Rep. Scalise, knowing full well that broadcasters oppose this bill because they want to see their regulatory crutches maintained," Abdoulah said.