American Cable Association Urges FCC to Block Sale of Topeka’s KTKA


By Andrew Gauthier Comment

The American Cable Association is urging the FCC to block the sale of Topeka’s KTKA, asserting that the deal would drive up retrans fees.

In February, PBC Broadcasting agreed to buy ABC-affiliate KTKA, pending FCC approval. PBC Broadcasting currently has shared services agreements with New Vision Television in two markets–Youngstown, OH and Savannah, GA–where New Vision also owns stations. The SSAs create virtual duopolies in those markets and the ACA fears that the KTKA sale will lead to a virtual triopoly in Topeka, where New Vision currently owns the NBC- and Fox-affiliates.

“ACA is drawing the line in the Topeka market because based on empirical data from many local TV markets, we know that TV stations that jointly negotiate retransmission consent deals (especially the affiliates of ABC, CBS, NBC, and FOX) charge pay television providers higher fees than stations that bargain on their own,” ACA president and CEO Matthew Polka said in a statement. “Consumers in Topeka will be injured by this deal.”