Mediacom: Programmers Looking to 'Pilfer' Billions from Retrans

Mediacom Communications tossed its support behind distributors in the ongoing retransmission-consent battles that are raging, encouraged pay-TV consumers to hold fast with their providers and asked them to contact Congress to amend America’s “outdated broadcast television laws.”

The nation’s eighth-largest cable operator, citing retrans disconnects involving CBS, ICA Broadcasting, Journal Broadcast and Raycom Media, issued a statement Tuesday morning saying that over the past two weeks “millions of consumers in over 50 markets stretching from New York City to Honolulu have been blacked out by broadcast station owners attempting to pilfer billions of dollars from the pockets of hardworking American families. CBS Corp. has gone even further, blocking Bright House and Time Warner Cable broadband customers from accessing free CBS online content and, in doing so, violating the spirit of rules designed to protect an open Internet.”

Mediacom said that since the Federal Communications Commission is unwilling to protect television viewers,”it means consumers have only two choices – both unacceptable – blackouts or higher cable prices. It is a disturbing trend and absolute proof that our nation’s broadcast television laws are desperately in need of reform.”

Finally, Mediacom commended Bright House, DirecTV, Dish Network and Time Warner Cable for “taking a stand on behalf of television viewers against outrageous programming price increases. As a company that has fought these battles firsthand, we would encourage customers to remain loyal as switching providers will only empower the broadcast station owners to seek even higher prices in the future. We implore all Americans to contact their Members of Congress and insist that they immediately fix our nation’s outdated broadcast television laws.”

The MSO also pointed consumers to or for more info on the topic, and means to contact Congress.