The federal Court of Appeals has upheld an earlier ruling from the Federal Communications Commission that blocked cable TV companies from arranging exclusive service contracts with owners of multi-dwelling unit buildings where they have built out infrastructure.
The FCC ban has been shrouded in controversy in part because it reversed a previous FCC position allowing this practice, and cable TV companies and some real estate groups feel the FCC has not provided enough basis for its new position. Making the ban retroactive also introduces confusion into the market, some said. The National Cable & Telecommunications Association and two real estate groups had appealed the decision via lawsuit after a previous bid for a stay in the ruling on existing contracts was denied.
It remains to be seen if this is the end of the issue. Many cable TV companies were said to have adjusted their strategies to the new realities of MDU competition, though as telcos continue to make good progress taking away cable TV customers, it wouldn't come as a surprise if some of the cable guys at least wanted existing exclusive contracts to remain intact.
- The Associated Press has this story
A stay on the MDU exclusivity ban was rejected last year