Senate Releases Retrans Witness List for Hearings

The Senate Communications, Technology and Internet Subcommittee, chaired by Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.) released the witness list for Wednesday’s (Nov. 17) hearing on retransmission consent. As expected both representatives from Cablevision and News Corp. will go before the subcommittee.

Kerry vowed to hold hearings during the recent 16-day standoff between Cablevision and Fox and has crafted draft legislation to prevent consumers from being caught in the middle of negotiations via blackouts.

The witness list includes: Glenn Britt, president and CEO, Time Warner Cable; Chase Carey, deputy chairman, president and COO, News Corp.; Tom Rutledge, COO, Cablevision Systems Corp.; Joe Uva, president and CEO, Univision Communications Inc.; and Charles Segars, CEO, Ovation

In a lame duck Congress, the hearing could add up to more show than action. Whether the Federal Communications Commission will step in is also a long shot. The FCC, which issued a handful of statements during the Fox-Cablevision standoff imploring the parties to settle, has yet to act on a petition filed earlier this year by the American Television Alliance, a coalition of consumer groups, cable, satellite, telephone companies and independent programmers.