FCC Looking for Ways to Prevent Blackouts

By Andrew Gauthier 

The New York Times

Seeking to end the brinksmanship that left many cable television customers in the Northeast without access to the first two games of the World Series this year, the Federal Communications Commission will consider changes to the rules governing negotiations between cable providers and broadcast networks, an agency official said Wednesday.

The official, William T. Lake, the chief of the F.C.C.s media bureau, said in a speech that the commission would propose new rules aimed at preventing broadcast stations from removing their signals from cable companies if the parties were unable to agree on retransmission fees.


By law, the F.C.C. cannot force the parties into binding arbitration or act to prevent a service disruption. More…