ACA pushes retrans conditions on TV station sale

Foreseeing future retransmission consent headaches, the ACA has asked the FCC to "condition or block the sale of the ABC (network) affiliate in Topeka, Kan." because the acquiring company, PBC Broadcasting, has a "track record of creating local market TV station duopolies" to gain a bargaining advantage with pay TV service providers.

"If this very troubling transaction is allowed to go through unchanged, Topeka's pay television viewers will suffer irreparable economic harm either by paying higher subscription rate or losing total access to as many as three of Topeka's Big Four stations at the same time," ACA President-CEO Matt Polka said in a news release.

PBC in February announced it would buy ABC affiliate KTKA-TV from Free State Communications. The Fox and NBC affiliates in Topeka are owned by New Vision Television, a firm that has signed shared services agreements with PBC in Youngstown, Ohio and Savannah, Ga. and would likely do so in Topeka, the ACA alleged, "potentially leaving just the CBS affiliates as the only Big Four station that will negotiate retransmission consent as a separate actor."

For more:
- see this news release

Related articles:
Retransmission watch: Q&A with Matt Polka, president-CEO, American Cable Association
Comcast CEO: We can help smooth retrans waters, once we get NBCU deal OK

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