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Broadcasters hold power in TV disputes

Written by James Delahunty (Google+) @ 01 Nov 2010 0:53 User comments (3)

Broadcasters hold power in TV disputes Recent disputes between Fox and several television signal providers has shown that broadcasters have retained an upper hand in disputes over content fees.
Some analysts believe that Cablevision may have allowed a dispute with Fox to go all the way to a channel blackout because it wanted to see what the government would do. If true, the stunt failed to get the Federal Communications Commission to do anything more than offer to act as a mediator between both companies.

When both sides could not reach a deal over fees, Fox blacked out content for three million Cablevision subscribers for 15 days. After viewers had already missed two games of the World Series, Cablevision caved in to terms it said were unfair.

The FCC basically claims its hands are tied in such a situation. "Under the present system, the FCC has very few tools with which to protect consumers' interests," FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski said in a letter to Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass.

"Current law does not give the agency the tools necessary to prevent service disruptions," he added.

In a statement issued on Sunday, Fox said Cablevision had engineering the entire dispute in a "misguided efforts to effect regulatory change to their benefit."

Dish Network had announced on Friday that it reached a settlement with Fox, two days before Fox broadcast signals could have been blacked out to some of its 14.3 million customers.

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3 user comments

11.11.2010 3:31

"The FCC basically claims its hands are tied in such a situation. "Under the present system, the FCC has very few tools with which to protect consumers' interests," FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski said in a letter to Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass."

I already knew it was true...but this really is a slap in the face. The FCC was created with the sole purpose of protecting consumer interests...and they are openly admitting that they do not do this, nor could they if they wanted to.

21.11.2010 9:27

Cablevision was manipulating. Fox was bullying. Neither company was operating in the public's interest, however expecting them to do so is grossly naive. Their motivation is profit, nothing wrong with that; all companies must profit.
The FCC is correct; this really is none of their business, nor should it be.
The only blame goes to the consumer who is paying the money to make this happen. Stop paying for subscription content, or stop complaining.

This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 01 Nov 2010 @ 9:29

34.11.2010 11:38
ribbie149
Inactive

Don't the advertisers, who are paying good money to have their messages broadcast by these networks, have ANYTHING to say about these blackouts. Also, Fox won the ratings week for the first time this fall. Do you think that would have happened without Dish's 14.3 million viewers?

This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 04 Nov 2010 @ 11:39

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