The Federal Communications Commission is about is issue a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking about retransmission consent, John Eggerton at B&C reports.
Given the contentious retrans battles this year between distributors and programmers, this rulemaking procedure surprises no one. More directly, a number of cable operators have asked the FCC to step into this process, the article notes.
Writes Eggerton, "FCC Media Bureau Chief Bill Lake is expected to announce the move at a Media Institute luncheon speech in Washington [today] Wednesday (Dec. 8). Industry sources were suggesting it would likely be a narrowly targeted proposal focused on better defining what constitutes good faith bargaining."
The story also says that "FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski has made it clear he does not think the FCC has sufficient tools to protect consumers from the fallout of retrans impasses, but he has also looked to Congress for help. FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski last month endorsed a congressional review of retransmission consent rules, suggesting changes could include mandatory mediation and binding arbitration."