Saturday, January 05, 2008

Cable group says it opposes bundling

From Bloomberg News
January 5, 2008

A group representing 1,100 smaller cable companies said Walt Disney Co., Viacom Inc. and other network owners force them to buy unwanted channels, and asked the Federal Communications Commission to step in.

The American Cable Assn. made its remarks in a filing to the agency, which requested comments by Friday on the practice of bundling, or requiring more program purchases when cable operators buy the most-popular channels.

Disney, in a separate filing, said the market is fair and FCC action isn't needed.

The cable operators' group gives FCC Chairman Kevin J. Martin support for plans to widen industry regulation. He has criticized the cable industry for boosting prices 93% from 1995 to 2005.

Thirteen of the biggest channels, such as Disney's ESPN and Disney Channel and Viacom's MTV, are bundled with obligations to carry at least 60 other channels, the trade group said.

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