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Comcast-Time Warner Merger Will Affect Millions of Rural Households Reliant on Popular Independent Programming
RFD-TV Founder to Testify Before a U.S. House Judiciary Committee Oversight Hearing on the Proposed Merger of Comcast and Time Warner Cable
WASHINGTON – Patrick Gottsch, founder of RFD-TV, will testify Thursday before a hearing of the U.S. House Judiciary Committee on “Competition in the Video and Broadcast Markets: the Proposed Merger of Comcast and Time Warner Cable.” In prepared testimony, Gottsch warns that “the choice and diversity in rural independent programming…is threatened by ongoing consolidation and vertical integration in the cable industry.”
Rural Media Group is the world’s leading provider of multimedia content dedicated to the rural and western lifestyle, and the parent company of RFD-TV, an independent cable channel distributed to more than 40 million U.S. homes. Launched in 2000, RFD-TV is the industry resource and business channel for rural America, with agribusiness, equine, rural lifestyle, western sports, music and entertainment programming.
Focusing on RFD-TV, Mr. Gottsch will discuss the importance of independent programming and the impact of continued consolidation in the cable industry from a rural prospective. He will explain the challenges RFD-TV has faced since the 2011 merger of Comcast and NBC Universal, and concerns surrounding the proposed merger of Comcast and Time Warner.
“RFD-TV’s delivery of rural programming to both urban and rural areas contributes to connecting city and country and gives rural communities programming that is not only of interest or entertaining but that is often critical to more fully understanding rural economic issues,” Mr. Gottsch says in his testimony. “Agriculture markets are international in scope and very important in rural areas, yet those markets are often nearly ignored by urban focused economic market reporting.”
A merged Comcast and Time-Warner will threaten that programming, Mr. Gottsch will warn, because it would give Comcast control of 22 of the top 24 urban markets; 34 million households, including 11 million homes in the most rural U.S. counties; and some or the entire total cable distribution in 40 U.S. states and the District of Columbia.
“In the past, the United States government has taken critical steps to ensure that America has a balance of services offered between the rural and urban populations,” he will add. “The Information Super Highway must go down each and every country road, and provide two-way communication in order that city and country remain connected.”
To read the prepared testimony in full, click here.
Watch Patrick Gottsch’s testimony in real time on the House Judiciary Committee Livestream.
For more information, or to schedule an interview with Patrick Gottsch, please contact Kirk Monroe at firstname.lastname@example.org or (202) 207-3646.
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About Rural Media Group, Inc.: Rural Media Group, Inc. is the world’s leading provider of multimedia content dedicated to the rural and western lifestyle. RMG is the parent company of RFD-TV, FamilyNet, RURAL TV, RURAL RADIO on SiriusXM channel 80, RFD-TV the Magazine and RFD-TV the Theatre. RFD-TV, the flagship network for RMG, launched in December 2000. RFD-TV is the nation’s first 24-hour television network dedicated to serving the needs and interests of rural America with programming focused on agriculture, equine and the rural lifestyle, along with traditional country music and entertainment. RMG acquired FamilyNet, America’s trusted entertainment network dedicated to providing wholesome and responsible viewing choices for today’s diverse family. RURAL TV produces rural business news covering commodity markets for both cash and futures. Daily productions include Market Day Report and the Rural Evening News. RMG networks are distributed into more than 63-million homes worldwide by DBS, telco and cable systems including DISH Network, DIRECTV(r), Comcast, Verizon FiOS TV, AT&T U-Verse, Mediacom, Charter, Brighthouse, Suddenlink, Time Warner, Cox, and more than 600 independent rural cable systems. RFD-TV The Magazine is the print programming guide for the networks, which has attracted over 200,000 paid subscribers. RFD-TV The Theatre is a 2000 capacity soft seat venue in Branson, MO where entertainment programming is produced. Corporate headquarters are in Omaha, NE, and production operations are in Nashville, TN. For more information, visit www.rfdtv.com, and www.familynet.com. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter: @OfficialRFDTV @RURALRADIO80 @WesternSportsUP @RFDTVAmerican