FCC deals blow to broadcasters with changes to exclusivity rules [telecom]

[Poster's comment: The following post is about cable TV, not telephony. I offer it to T-D at this time in view of (a) the long history of T-D discussions about cable TV dating back at least 20 years; (b) the belief that some T-D readers are interested in cable TV; and (c) the firm belief that cable TV *is* a form of telecommunications.]

By Andrew Berg, CED, 08/13/2015

The FCC is hoping to protect consumers from blackouts that result from retransmission disputes between pay TV providers and broadcasters.

In a blog post, FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler said he's in the process of circulating an order that would allow pay TV providers to import a signal from an out-of-market station should a local broadcaster pull its programming due to contract disagreements.

"In this item, the Commission takes its thumb off the scales and leaves the scope of such exclusivity to be decided by the parties, as we did in the Sports Blackout Order last year," Wheeler wrote in a blog posted on the FCC's website. "In so doing, the Commission would take 50-year old rules off our books that have been rendered unnecessary by today's marketplace."

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Neal McLain T-D reader since 3/24/05

***** Moderator's Note *****

I'm going to allow this post as a courtesy to Neal, who has contributed quite a few articles of interest to the Digest. Although I don't usually allow "Meta" discussions about moderation decisions, I'll add that I've been trying to get away from covering so many topics which are on the periphery of telecommunications as it pertains to the "Telephone" world.

Keeping the digest focused on communications by voice is important: if I try to cover every aspect of telecommunicaitons, I risk the Digest becoming a swamp of jargon about areas of technology that are, I think, better covered in other venues.

That being said, I must admit that the continued push to put /everything/ on the Internet or cable is blurring the lines between "voice" and "text" and "data", and TV: I'm still trying to find a middle ground that keeps T-D focused on the Telephone Networks and the companies that provide them. To that end, I invite *PRIVATE* comments from the readers on this subject. They will *NOT* be published, so please include the "[nfp]" tag in the subject to make it clear that your email is private.

Bill Horne Moderator

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