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FCC to Tackle Retrans Consent in March

Feb 11, 2011  •  Post A Comment

Retransmission consent is on the agenda of the Federal Communications Commission for its March 3 open meeting, B&C reports.

The agency has been indicating it wants to change the rules governing retrans consent. On Thursday it revealed that the issue is on its agenda for the upcoming meeting, and said it will propose a rulemaking that will "streamline and clarify the Commission’s rules governing or affecting retransmission consent negotiations between broadcasters and multichannel video programming distributors," the story reports.

Cable and satellite operators have been among the loudest voices calling for changes, along with public interest groups. Joining them, the story notes, are “legislators who got an earful from constituents during high-profile retrans impasses involving Time Warner, Fox, Sinclair, Disney, Cablevision, and others.”

The FCC has the power to ensure that bargaining over retransmission agreements is done in good faith, and it signaled last year that it will clarify what that means, the story says.

One Comment

  1. As the Commissioners and other interested parties seem to want spectrum back, that could be motivation for them to want to make it easier for broadcasters to get their fair share from the MSO’s. It could soften the blow of lower footprints (or no OTA footprints at all) once they auction and repack the band and push everybody down into high V.

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