Last updated: February 21, 2008 - 10:49am
CABLE INDUSTRY WINS COMPROMISE ON FCC PLANS
[SOURCE: New York Times, AUTHOR: Stephen Labaton]
In the face of a lobbying blitzkrieg by the cable television industry, the Federal Communications Commission drastically scaled back Tuesday evening a proposal by the agency’s chairman to more tightly regulate the industry. The compromise was a significant, though not total, victory for the cable industry, whose executives and lobbyists had worked to erode support on the commission for the agenda of the chairman, Kevin J. Martin. Among other things, the commission agreed to postpone for months the decision Chairman Martin had hoped would be made on Tuesday, over whether the cable television industry had grown so dominant that the agency’s regulatory authority over it should be expanded. But Chairman Martin and some consumer groups insisted that the decisions by the commission could nonetheless help to make programming more diverse and ultimately reduce cable costs. One of the new rules adopted on Tuesday, for instance, would make it significantly less expensive for independent programmers to lease channels. At an acrimonious two-hour hearing that ended shortly before midnight, Commissioners Jonathan S. Adelstein Robert M. McDowell criticized the process leading up to the votes. They suggested that Chairman Martin had relied on misleading data about the cable industry’s reach, and suppressed more reliable data already in the commission’s hands, to justify his regulatory agenda. Chairman Martin disputed them, saying that the FCC’s own data was not reliable, and that the most reliable data available showed that the industry had grown so large that greater regulation was justified. He said no data was suppressed.
* Cable Dodges Tighter FCC Control
* FCC Chair Forced to Compromise on Cable Regulation
* FCC retreats on cable regulation plan
* Cable regulation bid delayed
* FCC wants more data for cable TV report (Associated Press)
* FCC Concludes Data Does Not Establish 70/70 Finding
* Martin’s Cable Agenda Hits A Wall
MARTIN PROPOSES SEEKING MORE DATA ON 70/70 TEST
[SOURCE: Broadcasting&Cable, AUTHOR: John Eggerton]
Federal Communications Commission Chairman Kevin Martin proposed modifying compelling the cable industry to quickly come up with data to help the FCC determine whether or not it needs to be more heavily regulated. The news came in an announcement Tuesday from Chairman Martin to reporters waiting for the start of the delayed FCC meeting, at which the Commission planned to vote on the report. Martin said a majority of commissioners had expressed interest in seeking additional data from the cable industry in a "short time frame." He had been getting push back from his own Republican commissioners on that 70/70 conclusion, which had been based on data from Warren Communications that found that cable subscribership had passed the 70% figure that could trigger regulation. Chairman Martin said the FCC planned to still use the Warren data, but it would supplement it with other industry data if the proposal were adopted. Warren has said that its data are good as far as they go but incomplete because some operators did not respond to its survey.
* FCC Chairman Martin Can't Find Votes To Hammer Cable TV Operators
* Martin Backtracks on FCC Regulation of Cable TV
Today's result may represent Martin's biggest setback at the FCC, but its exact impact won't be clear until the FCC formally acts later today on the report.
* ACA, NAACP, HTTP Weigh In on FCC Video-Competition Report
Even before the Federal Communications Commission members officially weighed in on the agency's video-competition report Tuesday, the American Cable Association, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People and the Hispanic Technology and Telecommunications Partnership were already praising the commissioners who had not signed off on the conclusion, leaked by chairman Kevin Martin, that cable had reached a market-power threshold that could trigger new cable regulation.
- Martin Proposes Seeking More Data on 70/70 Test
- Martin Says He Won't Tie A La Carte Mandate to New Cable Rules
- Hot Numbers: FCC’s 70/70 Data Source Explains the Data
- Media Access Project Data Back Martin’s 70/70 Claim
- Blackburn’s 70/70 Bill a Reality
- Did Martin Flunk A Cable Math Quiz?
- Tate, McDowell Seek Warren Communications Data
- Blackburn Bill to Strip FCC Authority Even if Cable Reaches 70/70
- FCC's Martin Digging for Legal Leverage
- Shot Fired Across Martin's Bow on FCC Cable Report
- "70/70" Debate Comes Down to Wire
- Hispanic Federation, Latino Clergy Question Martin’s Cable Proposals
- Blackburn Bill Would Strip FCC’s 70/70 Authority
- FCC Chair Martin criticized over cable industry report tactics
- Why FCC Head Aims to Broaden Access to Spare Cable Channels