President and CEO, American Cable Association
Matthew M. Polka is responsible for the daily operations and affairs of the American Cable Association, an 800-member non-profit association dedicated to serving the interests of independent, smaller and medium-sized broadband, cable and phone businesses across the United States. The Association, whose cable, telco and municipal members serve nearly 7 million subscribers primarily in smaller/rural markets and competitive areas in all 50 states and in many U.S. territories, is the only group of its kind solely representing the concerns of such independent businesses before Congress, the Federal Communications Commission, other federal agencies and in the 50 states.
The primary purpose of the Association, founded in May 1993, is to help ACA Members stay competitive through a legislative and regulatory framework that (1) recognizes the unique economic circumstances of smaller and medium-sized independent operators; (2) provides for regulatory and financial parity with potential competitors; and, (3) encourages access to financial markets for capital needs.
Matt joined the Association as its first president on May 1, 1997. Prior to joining the Association, he was the Vice President and General Counsel of Pittsburgh-based Star Cable Associates from 1990-97, one of the nation's top-100 multiple-system cable companies, which specialized in the construction, operation and management of smaller, independent cable television systems in seven states. Matt worked on the Board and Executive Committee of the Association as a volunteer from 1993-97, helping to establish ACA in Washington, and then joining in 1997 to create a full-time Members’ organization. Matt is a 1982 honors graduate of West Virginia University in Morgantown, W.Va., where he received an undergraduate degree in journalism, magna cum laude, and was recipient of the Journalism School’s award for Outstanding Graduate in Journalism. He is also a 1986 graduate of Pittsburgh's Duquesne University School of Law, where he was editor of the Law School Newsmagazine, JURIS, and recipient of the Law School's Most Distinguished Graduate award.
In five years of private legal practice from 1986 through 1990, Matt specialized in civil litigation and corporate practice with the Pittsburgh law firms of Buchanan Ingersoll Professional Corporation and Thorp, Reed & Armstrong. In particular, since 1986 he has represented a number of independent cable television clients in a variety of corporate transactions, contract negotiations and litigation matters.
Matt, a frequent speaker throughout the cable industry, was named once again in 2015 a member of the CableFAX 100. In 2010, he was named to the Multichannel News Policymaking “Top 30,” and in 2009 was named a “Cable Television Pioneer,” one of the highest awards bestowed in the cable industry. Matt lives in the Pittsburgh area with his wife, Sharman, and their two daughters.