American Television Alliance Welcomes ACA Effort to Highlight “TV Ransom”

Small and Mid-sized Cable Operators to Spotlight Abusive Broadcaster Actions that Harm Consumers

 WASHINGTON, D.C. – The American Television Alliance (ATVA) today welcomed the launch of the “TV Ransom” campaign, a new national education effort from the American Cable Association to highlight abusive broadcast industry behavior that harms consumers.  The launch of the TV Ransom campaign coincides with the 25th anniversary of the Cable Act, which ushered in the era of retransmission consent.

“We applaud the American Cable Association and its hundreds of members for stepping forward to highlight the rampant abuse of retransmission consent by the broadcast industry with the TV Ransom campaign,” said Trent Duffy, ATVA national spokesman.  “The retrans cash grab is fueling a television blackout crisis.  Broadcasters take down their signals and hold their programming for ransom to extract outrageous fee increases that are borne by consumers.  Pay TV customers have endured 179 broadcaster blackouts so far in 2017, which have deliberately targeted some of the most anticipated television events of the year, from the Super Bowl to the Final Four to the Grammys.  Retrans fees are the fastest rising part of  consumers’ monthly pay TV bill.”

“The TV Ransom campaign will play a vital educational role for consumers, highlighting the fact that in a retransmission consent dispute, there is only one party responsible for a blackout: the broadcaster,” added Duffy.  “The broadcasters — and the broadcasters alone — have the power to remove their programming from a cable, satellite or telco television provider.  And the broadcasters alone have the power to restore their signals to the consumer.”

TV Blackout Crisis: 2017 On Pace To Break Blackout Record

Since 2010, millions of Americans have seen dark screens instead of watching their favorite channels.  With 176 blackouts already this year, 2017 is on pace to be the worst year for blackouts ever.

  • 179 blackouts in 2017
  • 104 blackouts in 2016
  • 193 blackouts in 2015
  • 94 blackouts in 2014
  • 119 blackouts in 2013
  • 90 blackouts in 2012
  • 42 blackouts in 2011
  • 8 blackouts in 2010

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