FCC Opens Discussion on Carriage Dispute Resolutions

(Image credit: FCC)

WASHINGTON—The FCC has some proposed changes on the table to the rules governing the resolution of programming disputes between video programming vendors and MVPDs, like cable and satellite operators, and is now seeking comments on them.

The two proposed changes cover the statute of limitations for program carriage disputes and the rule governing review of initial decisions of program carriage disputes by an FCC administrative law judge.

In regards to statute of limitations, the proposed change would have the statute of limitations be triggered when a defendant MVPD has denied or failed to acknowledge a request for program carriage, rather than at the notice of intent to file a complaint on that basis. For consistency, the FCC also proposes to similarly revise the statutes of limitations for program access, open video system and good-father retransmission consent complaints.

The other proposal eyes to “harmonize the review procedures of ALJ decisions regarding program carriage, program access and OVC complaints with the commission’s generally applicable review procedures,” the FCC said. The goal is to make the procedures more consistent and encourage the timely resolution of program carriage disputes, per the FCC.

This is another effort by the FCC in the Modernization of Media Regulation Initiative.

These proposals were combined in a Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking and Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (FCC 20-39). The vote was approved unanimously by Chairman Ajit Pai and the FCC commissioners.