|Federal Communications Commission
1919 - M Street, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20554
|News media information 202 / 418-0500
Fax-On-Demand 202 / 418-2830
This is an unofficial announcement of Commission action. Release of the full text of a Commission order constitutes official action. See MCI v. FCC. 515 F 2d 385 (D.C. Circ 1974).
COMMISSION SEEKS COMMENT ON PROPOSALS
In order to ensure that all providers of multichannel video services
have a reasonable opportunity to secure the progarmming they need to
satisfy viewers, the Commission has adopted a notice seeking comment
on revisions to its program access rules. In enacting the program access
provisions of the 1992 Cable Act, Congress expressed its concern that
potential competitors to incumbent cable operators were unable to gain
access to the programming needed to provide a viable and competitive
multichannel alternative to cable. |
The program access rules are designed to increase access to video programming for all providers of multichannel video programming by prohibiting unfair or discriminatory practices in the sale of satellite cable programming and satellite broadcast programming distributed by vertically integrated (cable-affiliated) programmers. The rules prohibit unfair and discriminatory practices in the sale of satellite cable and satellite broadcast programming and prohibit or limit the types of exclusive programming contracts that may be entered into between cable operators and vertically-integrated programming vendors.
The Notice seeks comment on amending and adopting both procedural and substantive aspects of the Commission's program access rules, including rules governing the speed of Commission decision making, the discovery of information relevant to possible rule violations, the payment of damages where violations are found to have occurred, and efforts to evade the program access rules. Comment is also sought on issues relating to the purchase of programming by cooperative buying groups. The Notice was issued in response to a petition for rulemaking filed by Ameritech New Media Inc. and issues raised by DirectTV and the Small Cable Business Association.
Key elements of this Notice include seeking comment on:
News Media Contact: Morgan Broman at (202) 418-2358