ACA Says NFL Deal Could Be 'Calamity' for Consumers

Says broadcasters should not be able to rely on government's "broken" retrans/cable carriage rules to recoup the cost 12/15/2011 03:26:29 PM Eastern

American Cable Association President Matt Polka suggests the new NFL football deal and its $27 billion price tag is running in full pads and cleats over consumers on its way to the bank.

ACA has long complained about the impact of sports rights on programming packages its members have to negotiate for. "Reports that CBS, NBC and Fox are expected to pay hyperinflationary fee increases to the NFL are a calamity for consumers and should be a clarion call to policymakers in Washington, D.C.," said Polka in a statement Thursday.

He argues that the tackling dummies in the game of escalating sports rights are "the nine out of 10 U.S. households that subscribe to cable and satellite services and are denied any opportunity to opt out of paying for the channels on which these NFL games will appear."

Polka says that broadcasters can pay those billions to the NFL if they like, but should not be able to rely "on the government's broken retransmission consent and cable carriage rules as the means for them to recoup the cost of their corpulent NFL contracts."

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