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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 SPORTS BLACKOUT AND PROGRAM EXCLUSIVITY RULES FOR SATELLITE
Washington, DC - The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) today released a
Notice of Proposed Rule Making seeking comment on the implementation of regulations that
would apply current cable rules for network nonduplication, syndicated program exclusivity and
sports blackout to satellite carriers. |
Today's action is the second of several proceedings to implement the Satellite Home Viewer Improvement Act (SHVIA) that was enacted on November 29, 1999. This law, for the first time, permits satellite carriers to transmit local television broadcast signals into local markets.
Network non-duplication, syndicated exclusivity and sports blackout rules have been in existence for many years and involve programs on broadcast television that are retransmitted by cable operators. Today's notice considers how to best apply these cable rules to satellite carriers in a manner consistent with statutory requirements as well as the FCC's goal of facilitating competition in the multichannel video program distributor (MVPD) marketplace. The current cable rules are summarized below.
For both of these rules, the local TV broadcast station may demand that a local cable system blackout any duplicate carriage of the program (networked or syndicated), regardless of whether the local TV station's signal is carried by the cable system in question.
SHVIA directs the FCC to apply these three rules - network nonduplication, syndicated exclusivity and sports blackout - to satellite carriers' transmission of nationally distributed superstations. The FCC is required to apply the sports blackout rule to satellite carriers' retransmission of network stations as well, but only "to the extent technically feasible and not economically prohibitive."
Congress set statutory deadlines of 45 days to commence this rule making and one year to adopt the rules. Today's notice, adopted earlier than mandated, reflects the FCC's intent to bring the competitive benefits of SHVIA to consumers as soon as possible.
Cable Services Bureau contact for this NPRM: Eloise Gore at (202) 418-7200.
CS Docket No. 00-2