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Posts Tagged ‘PBC Broadcasting’

Cable Operators in Topeka Ask Kansas Governor for Help with Pending KTKA Sale

Independent cable operators in Topeka sent a letter to Kansas governor Sam Brownback today, asking for his help in persuading the FCC to block or condition the pending sale of the market’s ABC affiliate, KTKA.

Cable operators are fearful that the sale of KTKA to PBC Broadcasting will lead to a partnership with New Vision Television — which currently owns two stations in Topeka — to form a virtual triopoly. New Vision Television and PBC Broadcasting have shared service agreements in two other markets — Youngstown, OH and Savannah, GA — which has led cable operators to believe that the two companies will strike a similar deal in Topeka.

The letter, signed by representatives of five cable companies in Topeka, asks Brownback — who sat on the Commerce Committee during his time as a US senator — to urge the FCC to block the sale of KTKA:

We know the FCC’s failure to act will lead to significant harm to our customers. On behalf of pay-TV viewers in Topeka, the FCC must be a cop against collusion and a bulwark against balckouts. We encourage you to take action immediately to either disapprove the Topeka Triopoly or approve it with meaningful consumer safeguards.

Read the full letter after the jump.

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

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.”

PBC Broadcasting Buys Topeka’s KTKA, Paving the Way for ‘Virtual Duopoly’

PBC Broadcasting has finalized a deal to acquire KTKA, an ABC-affiliate in Topeka, KS.

PBC Broadcasting, which owns Fox-affiliate WTGS in Savannah, GA and ABC-affiliate WYTV in Youngstown, OH, announced on Friday that it has agreed to terms with Free State Communications to buy KTKA and immediately begin managing the station’s advertising sales.

The deal is expected to be approved by the FCC in the second quarter of this year.

Of interest to the regulatory approval process, is PBC Broadcasting’s relationship with New Vision Television, which manages the company’s stations in  Savannah and Youngstown.  As TVNewsCheck points out, New Vision, the owner of WJCL in Savannah and WKBN in Youngstown, operates “virtual duopolies” in those cities.

New Vision also owns KSNT in Topeka, making another virtual duopoly possible.