Monday, August 1, 2011
FCC Stops Cable From Pulling Channels During Disputes
The FCC has issued a ruling restricting the ability of cable and satellite TV providers to pull channels off their services during carriage disputes, according to an order released on Monday.
The FCC’s so-called “standstill order” means that a cable or satellite company must continue to carry an affected channel under terms of the previous contract until the commission offers a ruling on any complaints stemming from a carriage dispute.
Carriers are also prohibited from denying distribution to independent program suppliers in order to carry programs in which the cable or satellite company has a financial stake.
Monday’s order is a victory for independent producers and channels, providing them protection from what some consider to be the near-monopolistic reach of cable distributors. The order also provides a mechanism for wronged parties to receive lost revenue if a complaint is found to have merit.
at 4:30 PM