ACA Has Faith in Comcast

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The American Cable Association has put a positive spin on Comcast Corp.’s $66 billion bid to acquire The Walt Disney Co.

"Comcast has been a responsible operator that has sought to work with independent cable and recognize independent cable's issues and the issues of all cable operators," ACA president Matt Polka said in a prepared statement Thursday.

The trade group -- which represents more than 1,000 small cable operators serving some 8 million subscribers -- said it was too soon to take a position on the merger, but Polka added that he hoped the potential deal could lead to positive dialogue on cable-industry issues such as programming increases, retransmission consent and consumer choice.

"With Comcast at the helm of Disney, I think there can be an opportunity once again for a programmer-operator business partnership to exist," Polka said, expressing hopes that a Comcast-run Disney would not be as difficult for cable operators to deal with as the current Disney/ESPN regime has been.

However, Polka did say that the ACA will be prepared to raise every potential issue and concern from the merger that could affect the group’s members and customers.