Broadcasters Keep Upper Hand in Disputes

By Andrew Gauthier 

Associated Press

A recent spate of TV blackouts and the lack of government intervention suggests that for now, broadcasters have the upper hand over TV signal providers when it comes to negotiating fees. That might mean fewer headaches for consumers caught in the middle if cable and satellite TV companies know they won’t get government help, at least until Congress decides to act.

New York-area cable TV operator Cablevision Systems Corp. tested the limits of government intervention in October, calling early and often for the Federal Communications Commission to step in and force News Corp.’s Fox to keep providing its broadcast signal while it pressed for arbitration in a fee dispute. More…