03.28.2011 03:00 PM
Comment Deadline Set on FCC’s Retransmission Proposal
WASHINGTON: Comment deadlines are set for the Federal
Communications Commission retransmission reform proposal. The commission’s
Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on retrans was approved unanimously three weeks
ago. It’s now been published in the Federal
Register, kicking in the comment periods. Initial comments are due May 27;
replies, by June 27.
Among other things, the NPRM seeks feedback on the elimination of
non-duplication and syndication exclusivity rules. This would allow a cable
operator to pick up an out-of-market TV station should the operator come to a stand-off
with an in-market broadcast affiliate. TV stations can now assert the
non-duplication rule on cable systems serving their designated market area.
Current FCC rules also direct that retransmission negotiations be held in “good
faith.” The NPRM seeks feedback on just what constitutes good faith.
Negotiations have become more contentious over the last few years, resulting in
high-profile squabbles and broadcast signals being yanked from cable systems.
The FCC’s NRPM seeks comment on how to prevent such service disruptions. (See “
FCC Retrans Proposal
Includes Elimination of Non-Dupe Rule.”)
The FCC retransmission NPRM Docket No. is 10-71.
-- Deborah D. McAdams