The American Cable Association, which asked the Federal Communications
Commission in October to investigate what it said was ongoing retransmission-consent
abuse by major broadcast groups, has filed a supplemental report to the
commission arguing that such abuse, particularly in small markets, is on the
rise. The ACA represents small, independent cable operators.
The ACA named The Walt Disney Co./ABC and Fox/News Corp. among the 11 examples of abusers,
saying they use their market power to "force 'take-it-or-leave-it' tying
arrangements and other unreasonable and costly terms on small cable operators."
Among the "abuses" cited more than once was Disney's insistence on carriage
of its SoapNet soap-opera channel and the move of Disney Channel from pay to
basic tiers as conditions of carriage.