Editor, The Ada News
I’d like to thank the residents of Ada and surrounding areas for your efforts to maintain access to Oklahoma City television stations. The ability to view local Oklahoma news is vital, and in the case of severe weather, essential.
When I learned of Cable One’s decision to drop Oklahoma City network affiliates from its channel line-up, my office contacted the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). Under the terms of the 1992 Cable Television Consumer Protection and Competition Act, the FCC is the only body with authority to grant the market modification that would be necessary to transfer communities in southwest Oklahoma from the Sherman, Tex., media market to the Oklahoma City media market. Related FCC rules specify that the Commission will only consider market modification petitions that are initiated by a broadcast station or a cable system and that contain evidence that meets the legal standards necessary for a market modification.
Under this system, members of Congress and other elected officials have no authority to override the business decisions of private companies, which -- many of us would agree -- is as it should be. Cable One has unfortunately made the decision that it will not pay increased fees to carry Oklahoma City affiliates.
City officials and concerned citizens in Ada, Duncan and Ardmore are working to persuade Cable One and the affected Oklahoma City broadcasters to begin the petition process, which is the only legal recourse. I applaud their efforts and thank all those who have contacted me regarding this important issue.
Rep. Tom Cole