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October 8, 2012

It’s Over—FCC Votes to Sunset Program Access Exclusivity Ban

The exclusivity ban is over, but an additional rulemaking might be coming. As expected, the FCC voted 5-0 Fri to terminate key parts of the 20-year-old program access exclusivity ban that requires cable ops to make most of their affiliated programming available to pay-TV rivals. The agency set a 6-month deadline for resolution of program access complaints on a case-by-case basis. As reported, the agency is teeing up various issues for comment in a further NPRM, such as the possibility of adding more presumptions. ACA and various critics, including Free Press and Senate Democrats, comment on the outcome.

Oral arguments by Time Warner Cable and the cable industry seemed to go well Thurs in their challenge of the FCC’s ’11 order aimed at improving program carriage dispute resolution for independent programmers seeking carriage on cable systems, Stifel Nicolaus analysts said. Read on to find out what TWC and cable are opposing.

Actually we are not sure if the Gannett-DISH battle, which involves 19 Gannett stations that could have gone dark Sun [UPDATE: the two sides reached a deal Mon], is over retrans fees or DISH’s ad-skipping feature, or both. Here’s DISH’s side of the story.







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