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Comments covering everything from the pending DBS merger to cable's shrinking share in the marketplace are flooding the Federal Communications Commission, which is conducting its annual assessment of competition in the multichannel business.

The National Cable and Telecommunications Association said in its FCC comments that cable's share of the marketplace has decreased from a 95 percent share in 1992 to a 76 percent share today. "These facts indicate that cable operators now face a vibrantly competitive marketplace," the NCTA said.

In its comments, EchoStar promoted its merger with DirecTV, saying only through the combined resources of the two companies will satellite TV be able to compete effectively against cable.

The company said a DirecTV-EchoStar combination will generate more than an estimated $1 billion a year in consumer welfare benefits. "These benefits will flow to existing DBS subscribers and cable subscribers who will reap the rewards of increased competition from, for example, the introduction of DBS local broadcast service in every DMA," EchoStar said in its filing.

The National Rural Telecommunications Cooperative outlined its opposition to the DBS merger in its comments. The cooperative said a combination of the two companies "would substantially reduce competition in the MVPD market throughout the country, and would eliminate competition completely in all areas - mostly rural - not passed by cable."

The NRTC also said the FCC should more accurately determine the number of homes passed by cable.

From SkyReport (Used with Permission)
 
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