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January 10, 2007
Dennis Wharton
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Rehr Refutes ACA's 'Inaccuracies and Exaggerations' on Retransmission Consent

WASHINGTON, DC – NAB President and CEO David K. Rehr sent a letter to American Cable Association President and CEO Matt Polka yesterday regarding "inaccuracies and exaggerations" in Polka's recent statements about retransmission consent.

Rehr's letter reminded Polka why retransmission consent was enacted into law in the first place: to correct "an imbalance in video program delivery that had permitted cable operators to take advantage of a local TV station signal, profit from its highly valued programming, without even providing stations the opportunity to negotiate for something in return."

Rehr noted that ACA has recognized the value of local broadcast TV signals, pointing out that a year-old ACA study described local broadcast signals as "an essential component of cable service."

Noting that the 235 top-rated programs on ad-supported TV were shows offered by broadcast networks, Rehr also took aim at cable's repeated degradation of local broadcasters' high definition signals.

Asserting that "for the last 15 years, the evidence demonstrates convincingly that retransmission consent has succeeded as Congress intended," Rehr also suggested that Polka consider "the number of subscribers who would switch to satellite if they did not receive local broadcast channels as part of their cable package."

To read the text of the letter click here.

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The National Association of Broadcasters is a trade association that advocates on behalf of more than 8,300 free, local radio and television stations and also broadcast networks before Congress, the Federal Communications Commission and the Courts. Information about NAB can be found at


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