The American Cable Association, the lobbying group for small independent cable companies, launched a Web site to encourage cable customers across America to demand “Sports Choice Now” from NFL Network.
The Web site provides a direct link for consumers to tell Congress how the NFL Network has denied them any choice in receiving NFL Network programming.
In addition, the Web site provides information to the public through a video, “Myths vs. Facts,” and current press clippings criticizing the NFL Network for trying to charge all cable television subscribers for NFL games on the NFL Network.
ACA President and CEO Matt Polka said his organization is sending the site, congressional letters and 30-second spots to all 1,100 ACA members “to unite with their 8 million customers in demanding choice for smaller market and rural customers and for independent cable operators across the United States.”
“The NFL Network says it has the best interests of its fans at heart, but then demands that all cable television subscribers pay for its programming,” Polka said in a prepared statement.“Let’s call the play the way it is.The NFL Network has only its own interests at heart, and that’s why consumers don’t have a choice to buy the NFL Network or not on a sports tier.”
Polka said ACA’s members’ goal is to show the public and Congress how expensive sports programming is forced on consumers and cable companies, and to mobilize consumers and Congress to demand sports choice.
ACA’s Polka criticized the NFL Network for using its brand, market power and federal anti-trust exemption to specifically deny choice to consumers in smaller markets and rural areas served by independent cable operators.