By Steve Donohue, FierceCable, December 13, 2013
| After years of remaining neutral in disputes between pay TV | distributors and broadcasters involving retransmission-consent | fees, the National Cable Television Association said Thursday | that it supports proposed legislation that could impact | Comcast, its largest member. | | Rep. Anna Eshoo (D.-Calif.) introduced a bill on Thursday that | she said would "put an end to broadcast television blackouts | and ensure consumers aren't held hostage by a dispute they | have no control over." Separately, Rep. Steve Scalise (R.-La.) | reintroduced a bill that calls for the repeal of several | regulations, including retransmission-consent and media | ownership rules. | | "The bills introduced today by Reps. Eshoo and Scalise are | very different, but each independently highlights what is | quickly becoming a growing consensus--namely, that laws | enacted over twenty years ago are out of sync with the | realities of today's video marketplace and in many cases serve | to inhibit innovation, thwart fair competition, and harm | consumers," NCTA CEO Michael Powell said in a prepared | statement. "In particular, we welcome an examination of a | retransmission consent regime that is increasingly fractured | and in need of some repair. We look forward to working with | these members, and all members of the committee, as Congress | considers responsible reforms," the former FCC chairman | added.