Blamethrowers: broadcasters fire back at ACA programming cost complaints

An organization representing local network affiliates and other broadcasters took umbrage at claims that their members are responsible for spiraling cable TV bills.

The broadcaster spokesgroup TVFreedom.org dismissed recent claims the American Cable Association (ACA) made to the FCC that "out of control" programming costs would slow, if not stop, broadband buildouts by smaller MVPDs. The FCC leveraged this argument to call on the FCC to use provisions in the Communications Act to combat higher programming costs.

That sort of action, said TVFreedom.org in an ars technica story, isn't necessary since retransmission fees account for only 10 percent of a cable subscriber's monthly bill.

ACA's argument, the broadcaster group said, is "diversionary tactics aimed at hiding their own greed. The inconvenient truth is that higher cable rates are the direct result of excessive cable network programming fees and exorbitantly high equipment rental charges."

Higher programming costs driving higher cable fees is a "myth," TV Freedom.org said. It urged the ACA to "come clean with customers and promote greater accountability regarding abuse pay TV charges and truth-in-billing practices."

For more:
- read this ars technica story
- read this ACA press release

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