Groups Speak Out On CBS-TWC Blackout, CBS’ Broadband Blackout

This week, many groups have joined ATVA in asking the FCC to step in and protect consumers from CBS’s self-declared “war” and end their Internet blackout:

Public Knowledge 

“CBS’ blocking tactic clearly violates the ‘rules of engagement’ Congress intended when it created the [retrans] system. We need the FCC to step up, do its job and protect the millions of broadband subscribers who have nothing to do with this fight” Read more

Sports Fans Coalition

“Sports Fans Coalition — as we did starting in 2010 – again calls for the FCC to prohibit the taking down of sporting events during these contract disputes between broadcasters and their cable/satellite distributors.” Read more

National Consumer Leaugue

“Rising consumer cable bills are due in no small part to broadcasters’ continual push for higher carriage fees. If a cable company plays hardball in negotiations, consumers risk paying for nothing when the broadcasters’ channels go dark. Either way, consumers lose.” Read more

Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights

“…civil rights and consumer advocates argue that is not right for a dispute to end up denying viewers access to important news and emergency information. And in many markets such as New York and Los Angeles, this loss of access to programming affects large numbers of African Americans, Latinos and seniors.” Read more

The American Consumer Institute Center for Citizen Research

“The outdated 1992 must-carry and retransmission consent rules need repeal.The data suggests the presence of market power that is harming consumers, and policymakers need to fix it now.”  Read more

National Taxpayers Union

“Consumers would benefit from a more thoughtful policy approach that respects the private sector’s capacity to build prosperous markets for video content and service and minimizes the role of the federal government.” Read more

Consumer Action

“It’s bad enough that CBS blacked out its broadcasts for millions of Time Warner Cable customers on Aug. 2 because the cable company would not give in to CBS demands for hugely higher ‘retransmission fees.’ Now CBS is punishing everyone who has Time Warner as an Internet provider by denying them access to the same CBS online content it offers free to the public.” Read more

Center for Individual Freedom

“The overarching problem is that telecommunications and media continue to advance, while federal regulations have stood still.” Read more

League of United Latin American Citizens

“We are particularly concerned by the unprecedented step taken by CBS to block access to CBS.com to Time Warner Cable’s Internet customers…This conduct is unconscionable in that it’s not germane to the dispute at hand.  It only serves to demonstrate how unruly broadcast fee disputes have become and what careless disregard CBS has for the rights of their customers.”Read more