FCC Aims to Modernize Program Carriage Rules

(Image credit: FCC)

WASHINGTON—As part of the FCC’s stated effort to modernize media regulations, the commission will look to tackle rules regarding program carriage disputes between video program vendors and MVPDs during its November Open Commission Meeting.

According to FCC Chairman Ajit Pai, the current rules regarding program carriage has a loophole in the one-year statute of limitations when a video programming vendor may file a program carriage complaint against an MVPD. The one-year statute of limitations begins when the vendor says it intends to file a complaint, but it can currently do so whenever, including years after a dispute and potential rule violation.

To close this loophole, a new Report & Order would clarify that the one-year period for filing a dispute begins when an MVPD rejects or fails to acknowledge a request for program carriage or request to negotiate for program carriage. In addition, the rules would also modify the effective dates for program carriage decision by the FCC’s Administrative Law Judge to match those currently applicable to other such ALJ decisions.

Pai says the FCC would also seek to harmonize rules, where possible, for the resolution of program carriage, program access, retransmission consent and open video system complaints in these areas.

The full agenda for the November meeting was shared by Pai in a blog post.

The FCC’s November Open Commission Meeting will take place on Nov. 18 and be available to the public via streaming on the FCC website.