Last updated: December 9, 2010 - 12:11pm
Federal Communications Commission Media Bureau Chief Bill Lake announced that the FCC plans to issue a proposed rulemaking on retransmission consent.
He said the FCC plans to issue a broad notice looking at what more it could do "to advance the statutory objectives of allowing retrans fees to be set by market forces while protecting the interests of consumers." In addition to posing that question, it will also provide "some limited guidance" on what good faith bargaining entails, and may also "try to identify additional practices that will be treated as per se violations of the duty to bargain in good faith," though leaving that open for public input as well. Lake suggests the FCC's NPRM is meant to address the old African saying that "when the elephants fight, it is the grass that suffers." And in the spirit of the Christmas season, Lake suggested something of a naughty-or-nice test (our interpretation, not his) for possible FCC action. "We will pay close attention to...future developments in the marketplace," he said. "Are the disruptions of the last year an anomaly -- perhaps just a sign of friction as prices move to a new level? Or will we see a continuing pattern of disputes that threaten viewers’ access to programming?"
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