Broadcasters seek retransmission extension from FCC

Broadcasters would like a 30-day extension before the FCC does any tweaking to retransmission rules. A consortium of cable, satellite and telco service providers, led by Time Warner Cable, had set the ball in motion when it asked the FCC to require independent arbitration of retransmission disputes and stop broadcasters from pulling their signals during those disputes. The FCC bit and set a May 4 deadline for comments on the matter.

Now the National Association of Broadcasters says it would like a little more time to marshal its forces and wants the FCC to move the deadline back to June 3. If the Commission's recent decisions are any indication, the broadcasters could be outta luck. The FCC just denied a petition from the Mabuhay Alliance, a Pan Asian group that had asked it to stay any decision it might make on Comcast's proposed merger with NBC Universal until it held hearings into "diversity content implications" that the deal might have for Asian Americans and other minorities.

Mabuhay had argued that the application and appendix detailing the merger contain no reference to Asian Americans and how they might be treated by a new Comcast-led NBC Universal. The FCC said it saw no reason to deviate from the normal review process.

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