STATEMENT OF DAN BRENNER, NCTA'S SENIOR VICE PRESIDENT FOR LAW AND REGULATORY POLICY, ON FCC ACTION REGARDING PROGRAM ACCESS


We’re disappointed that the FCC chose not to eliminate this regulatory relic. When Congress passed this law in 1992, there was no DBS industry. Today, nearly every customer has several video distributors to choose from, and nearly one-quarter of subscription television customers -- 18 million consumer households -- choose DBS over cable. This vigorous, substantial competition assures that the vast majority of programming, whether owned by a cable operator or not, would be available to all distributors. The cable industry has dramatically increased programming diversity and choice, and will continue to do so. Nevertheless, eliminating this rule this year would have restored balance in allowing limited exclusivity to be used to differentiate competitive offerings - as Congress contemplated in proposing a sunset back in 1992.