FCC considers 30-day notice for potential retrans blackouts

The FCC wants to know what interested parties think about requiring broadcasters and cable operators to tell consumers that a blackout is looming 30 days before their contracts expire.

"Would the requirement to provide such notice encourage the parties to conclude their negotiations more than 30 days before the expiration of the existing agreement and thus help avoid the station deletions that deprive MVPD customers of local broadcast stations?" the agency asked.

The question seems more compelling as Cox Communications and LIN Media this week rev up for what could be yet another blackout black eye that would affect nine LIN TV stations in three Cox markets. With time expiring, though, a Cox spokeswoman in the Hampton Roads, Va. region sounded a bit more optimistic than is usually the case with negotiations at this stage, telling the Virginian-Pilot, "We have not reached an impasse."

For more:
- see this news release
- the Virginian-Pilot has this story

Related articles:
LIN Media, Cox retransmission battle looms
FCC lays out rules for retransmission consent overhaul