Cable operators Time Warner Cable, Cablevision and Mediacom have been joined by the American Cable Association (ACA) and satellite providers DirecTV and DISH Network in a cross-industry appeal asking the FCC to address the burgeoning battle between service and content providers.
Arguing that the current retransmission process is irrevocably flawed, as evidenced by the Cablevision-Disney dispute that shut down WABC this past weekend, the group wants the FCC to pass rules that would prevent broadcasters from yanking their programs when deals can't be reached. According to a TWC spokesman, "the FCC's regulations governing retransmission consent, which were created nearly 20 years ago, are outdated and being exploited by broadcasters to harm consumers."
Noticeably absent in the group effort is Comcast which is caught between a rock--being a service provider--and a hard place--being a programmer--thanks to its ongoing effort to acquire NBC Universal.
- see this story from the LA Times
Broadcast lockouts may have just begun
Cablevision's in the rear-view, Comcast's in the headlights
Cablevision, WABC lockout ends in time for Oscars
C-Span joins must-carry battle; CBS boss insists on retransmission fees