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Press Release

PTC Files Comments Over Proposed Charter/Time Warner Cable/Bright House Merger

Release Date: 11/3/2015

LOS ANGELES (November 3, 2015) – The Parents Television Council filed comments to the Federal Communications Commission (MB Docket No. 15-149) over Charter Communication’s proposed acquisition of Time Warner Cable and Bright House Networks, which will combine to provide service availability in approximately 17 million households located in many of the top DMAs across the country.

(Read full comments)

In the comments, the PTC asks the FCC to “carefully consider whether the proposed merger will: (1) provide consumers with greater choice and control over programming they receive and pay for; and (2) protect the ability of smaller, independent, family-friendly programmers to serve the unique needs of parents and families.”

“A Charter-TWC-Bright House merger would significantly increase the company’s leverage, which could potentially trickle down to negatively affect cable TV customers, though we hope that won’t be the case here,” said PTC President Tim Winter.

“Charter has shown strong support for cable subscribers to have greater control over the network programming they receive and pay for. Time Warner Cable has been an opponent of consumer choice. While we would hope that Charter’s position on this issue ultimately prevails in the combined corporate entity, we urge the FCC to ensure that the proposed merger serves the public interest by providing consumers with greater choice and control over the programming they receive and pay for.

“Secondly, we urge the FCC to consider the viewing needs of families by ensuring that small, independent, family-friendly programmers aren’t trapped in the merger crossfire. Experience has shown that cable networks owned by the largest industry conglomerates receive inordinate subscriber fee revenues and more favorable carriage terms compared to similarly-viewed independent cable networks – simply because of the conglomerates’ unfair economic leverage. Smaller, independent networks are often squeezed out from carriage.

“One of the main problems with cable TV today is that there is increasingly explicit – even pornographic – content that once was provided only on premium network tiers. Now it’s the norm on basic cable. As such, we urge the FCC to serve the public interest in protecting the cable networks that provide positive, wholesome family content and faith-friendly entertainment to the millions of viewers who risk losing the very few safe havens that are out there.”

To read the PTC’s full comments, click here

 

 

The Parents Television Council® (www.parentstv.org) is a non-partisan education organization advocating responsible entertainment. It was founded in 1995 to ensure that children are not constantly assaulted by sex, violence and profanity on television and in other media.

This national grassroots organization has more than 1.4 million members, and works with television producers, broadcasters, networks and sponsors in an effort to stem the flow of harmful and negative messages targeted to children.

The PTC™ also works with elected and appointed government officials to enforce broadcast decency standards. Most importantly, the PTC produces critical research and publications documenting the dramatic increase in sex, violence and profanity in entertainment. This information is provided free of charge so parents can make informed viewing choices for their own families.

Visit the new PTC Watchdog Blog at www.parentstv.org/blog.

Follow the PTC on Twitter: @ThePTC.
 
Like us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/ptcusa.

To speak with a representative from the Parents Television Council, please contact Kelly Oliver at (703) 307-9404 or email at kelly@kellyoliverpr.com.