Cable operators weigh in on FCC retrans decision

Three cable operators with bad retransmission consent negotiation experiences and an organization representing small operators weighed in with what best could be described as grudging support of the FCC's Notice of Proposed Rulemaking.

The least supportive, probably, is Full Channel TV, a small Rhode Island operator in a big dispute with Univision. In a letter to the Commission, Full Channel Vice President Levi Maaia reminded the FCC that "current regulations are making it very difficult for small cable operators to strike fair deals."

Bigger operators Time Warner Cable (NYSE: TWC-WI) and Cablevision Systems (NYSE: CVC) were a bit more moderate. TWC, which suffered through a nasty dispute with Sinclair Broadcast Group (Nasdaq: SBGI), "applauded" the FCC for taking any action and Cablevision, which had two notorious blackouts with the Walt Disney Co.'s (NYSE: DIS) ABC Network and News Corp.'s (Nasdaq: NWSA) Fox Network, called the NPRM "an important first step for consumers."

The American Cable Association, in its statement, said things need to go farther. "An 'Extreme Makeover: FCC Edition' is needed to protect consumers from price-gouging TV stations," said Matt Polka, ACA president-CEO.

For more:
- see Full Channel's statement
- and TWC's statement
- Cablevision had this statement
- and the ACA published this statement

Related articles:
The price is wrong: Full Channel TV shuts off Univision
Retrans resolutions: Time Warner Cable-Sinclair hammer out tentative deal, Dish-Griffin come to terms
Cablevision: News Corp. to blame for Q4 subscriber losses
Retransmission watch: Q&A with Matt Polka, president-CEO, American Cable Association