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TMCNet:  Mediacom Communications Issues Statement Regarding Cablevision's Federal Antitrust Lawsuit Against Viacom

[February 27, 2013]

Mediacom Communications Issues Statement Regarding Cablevision's Federal Antitrust Lawsuit Against Viacom

MIDDLETOWN, N.Y. --(Business Wire)--

Mediacom Communications Corporation today issued the following statement regarding Cablevision's federal antitrust lawsuit against Viacom (News - Alert) for illegally forcing Cablevision to carry and pay for 14 lesser-watched ancillary networks in order to receive Viacom's must-have networks:

"We have not yet had an opportunity to review the complaint and so are not in a position to comment on Cablevision's specific claims as they relate to Viacom. However, we can say that tying practices of the owners of the most popular cable channels are really hurting consumers, especially those impacted by difficult economic conditions and those, like most of Mediacom's customers, who live outside of the big cities."

"For over a decade, Mediacom, on behalf of the customers we serve in small and mid-sized markets throughout the U.S., has been speaking out against the practices of a handful of national media conglomerates. The programmers' practice of tying carriage of weak networks to the grant of licenses to carry popular networks has caused cable and satellite prices to rise at a pace that far exceds inflation. Their refusal to permit cable operators to offer the most expensive networks on an a la carte basis has driven the cost of the basic package up to a point where it has become unaffordable for more and more Americans."

"Tying, bundling and other practices of programmers raise the prices that cable companies have to pay to buy programming, and most of these costs ultimately have to be passed on to consumers. Contrary to accusations by industry critics, cable companies are reluctant to raise video subscriber rates because when we do, we lose customers. Mediacom does not make more money when we raise video prices, since we remit virtually every penny of the increase on to the content owners. Over the last three years, the increase in our programming costs was more than double the increase in video revenues, even after taking our subscriber rate increases and equipment charges into account."

"Mediacom has made repeated attempts to bring these issues to the attention of the Federal Communications Commission and other federal lawmakers. We certainly hope that Cablevision's lawsuit leads to a positive outcome for consumers."

Mediacom Communications Corporation is the nation's eighth largest cable television company and one of the leading cable operators focused on serving the smaller cities in the United States, with a significant concentration in the Midwestern and Southeastern regions. Mediacom Communications offers a wide array of information, communications and entertainment services, including video, high-speed data and phone, and provides innovative broadband communications solutions through its Mediacom Business division that can be tailored to any size business. Mediacom Communications' advertising sales and productions services are sold under its OnMedia division. More information about Mediacom Communications is available at www.mediacomcc.com.


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