Polka Warns FCC of More Online Blocking - Broadcasting & Cable

Polka Warns FCC of More Online Blocking

Points to dozens of members who are dropping Viacom networks
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American Cable Association president Matt Polka warned the FCC this week that the number of cable operators whose subs would be blocked from viewing Viacom sites would likely be growing.

Viacom has blocked access to its content over the Internet to subs of Cable ONE and Liberty Cablevision of Puerto Rico after the two sides failed to come to terms on new video carriage deals.

But in a call to Gigi Sohn, special counsel to FCC chairman Tom Wheeler, Polka said that since dozens of his members—small and midsized cable operators—also did not renew carriage deals with Viacom, he expected that the number of affected systems would likely grow.

Viacom has signaled that if its nets are dropped, net access will clearly be affected.

ACA complains that Viacom's moves are a threat to Internet openness, while Viacom says that since the cable ops have decided not to provide Viacom programming to their subs, it will no longer be available to them "in any form."

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