Dish ready to go to FCC over sports programming access

It says something about our society that the biggest issue between cable, satellite and telco providers is not who controls the local news but rather who controls the local sports. The problem is so bad that the FCC put a June 21 deadline on a requirement that all cable operators offer local sports feeds at fair rates to competitors. It would seem that would have ended the debate. It didn't.

While some cable operators are negotiating with satellite and telco providers, many are still holding tight to their sports packages, forcing Dish Network (Nasdaq: DISH) to file a complaint with the FCC because Comcast "has refused to enter into good-faith discussions" over Philadelphia sports programming.

Nonsense, said Comcast (Nasdaq: CMCSA) spokesman Tim Fitzpatrick. Comcast makes its SportsNet Philadelphia content to competitors and RCN and Verizon FiOS both have it. Nothing's different for Dish--or DirecTV, for that matter, the other satellite provider in town that's seeking carriage.

It will be up to the FCC to determine the we-said-you-said argument.

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