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ACA Informally Backs Petition to Deny Gray Station Buy

The American Cable Association has informally joined a petition to deny Gray TV's purchase of KYES-TV Anchorage (MyNetworkTV) under a failing station waiver. Gray also wants to buy NBC affiliate KTUU-TV there. The waiver would allow it to own an otherwise disallowed duopoly in the market.

That is according to an online copy of an FCC document filed by ACA this week.

Earlier this month, Alaska cable operators GCI (which owns CBS affiliate KTVA Anchorage) asked the FCC to deny the purchase.

ACA agrees, telling the FCC in a Dec. 17 "informal objection" to the deal that if it approves the deal, Gray will get to negotiate retransmission consent on behalf of two full-power stations in the market.

"ACA agrees with GCI [a member] that the Application fails to demonstrate 'that the tangible and verifiable public interest benefits of the merger outweigh any harm to competition and diversity,'" the cable association said.

ACA says it agrees with the Office of the Alaska Attorney General that Gray has not made an adequate showing that a failing station waiver is warranted.

"The local ownership rules and the Commission’s efforts to reform the retransmission consent regime will be undermined by approval of the Application," ACA said. "Additionally, this transaction will harm multichannel video programming distributors and , ultimately, their customers."