Cable content exclusivity ban upheld

In a decision that will be good news to alternative TV providers like telcos and satellite firms, a federal appeals court late last week reinforced the Federal Communications Commission rule preventing cable TV companies from formulating exclusive deals involving affiliated TV content. The 2-1 ruling by the three-judge court was applauded by Verizon Communications and others.

The ban had been challenged by cable TV players Comcast and Cablevision Systems, but the timing may have been with their competitors, Comcast is trying to gain control of a major programming firm, NBC Universal, and Cablevision's programming practices have been attacked by competitors who feel they have been treated unfairly.

The ruling comes about two months after the FCC said Cablevision and other cable TV companies would no longer be able to exploit a loophole in the ban that allowed them to withhold their own local sports content from competitors in some situations.

Still, with the progress telco TV players have made lately against cable TV providers, you have to wonder how long the ban will remain in place.

For more:
- Reuters has this story

Related articles
The FCC unlocked the cable content lock in January
Cablevision's programming practices have drawn fire