Last October, a standoff between Fox Network and Cablevision Systems Corp. left many in the New York City area without the ability to watch the first games of the World Series. This was a highly publicized feud but not uncommon to others that are happening more frequently. These feuds stem from disagreements concerning “retransmission consent negotiations” that occur between broadcasters and cable operators over the terms and fees paid to broadcasters by cable to retransmit their signal over cable’s lines. When these negotiations break down, viewers are left powerless and vulnerable to channel shutdowns as happened in New York. Witnessing more of these disagreements occurring around the country, the FCC has stepped in and today voted to reexamine the rules between the two parties. Both industries lobbying groups, the National Association of Broadcasters and the American Cable Association are actively positioning to present their interests to the FCC.
Read the Entire Article by Joe Flint of the L.A. Times