Report: FCC to Take Up Retrans in March

WASHINGTON: Retransmission reform will be on the March agenda of the Federal Communications Commission, according to a report from John Eggerton of Multichannel News. Eggerton cites FCC sources as saying to expect a proposed rulemaking on retrans on the commission’s March 3 open meeting agenda. The agenda itself is to be released this Thursday.

The commission indicated its intent to take up retrans reform last December. FCC Media Bureau Chief Bill Lake said at a Media Institute Luncheon the move would come in the first quarter of this year.

“The Media Bureau will prepare a notice that will take a broad look at what more we might do to advance the statutory objectives of allowing retrans fees to be set by market forces while protecting the interests of consumers,” he said at the time.

The revelation followed a particularly protracted catfight between Fox TV stations and Cablevision systems during the World Series. Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.) threatened to remedy the situation with legislation.

Eggerton’s story is at Multichannel News.