WASHINGTON, December 22, 2009 - The annual dance between broadcasters and cable providers gained a new player on Tuesday as Sen John Kerry, D-Mass., sent a letter to executives at Fox and Time Warner Cable urging the companies to resolve their respective issues over retransmission consent between now and December 31, when the current agreement expires.
Retransmission consent is the process by which broadcasters charge cable providers a fee to deliver their programming to cable television subscribers.
Without a renewed agreement between Time Warner and Fox, millions of Americans will be left without popular sports and entertainment programming during the first days of the new year.
"I have sought to place the interests of consumers at the center of our work," Kerry wrote. "If both parties conclude that the best alternative to a negotiated agreement is to have screens go dark for consumers, then they will have neglected the core interests of the millions of households that subscribe to Time Warner Cable in affected markets."
Kerry noted that all FCC licensees are obligated to serve the public interest under the Communications Act. "I hope and expect that you will resolve this matter consistent with those obligations," he noted.
Consumer advocacy group Free Press praised Kerry for speaking out against exorbitant retransmission fees: "Senator Kerry is right to blow the whistle on the spat between Fox and Time Warner," said policy director Ben Scott.
"[C]onsumers shouldn’t have to cope with suddenly losing TV service of local sports programming on New Year’s Day because two corporate boardrooms decided to butt heads. These shenanigans expose serious hypocrisy in the industry" "We hope Senator Kerry’s intervention will serve as a reality check," Scott said.
- Registration Available for Rural Broadband Track at Broadband Communities Summit from April 27-30, 2020
- Broadband Roundup: The Future of Work and Minorities, State Broadband Officials Meet at Pew, NYC’s Open Access Plan
- FCC and FTC Commissioners Address ‘Technology Optimism and Pessimism’ at Silicon Flatirons Conference
- At Silicon Flatirons on Monday, Panelists Differ on the Real Value of the Internet
- Drones Will Need Access to 5G Services to Put Out Forest Fires and Do More Advanced Tasks
Signup for Broadband Breakfast
Broadband Data9 months ago
Pennsylvania Broadband Speeds Worse Than Previously Believed, According to State Report
Intellectual Property7 months ago
In Congressional Oversight Hearing, Register of Copyrights Says Office Is Responding to Online Users
Broadband Data8 months ago
California Report: Income Most Significant Factor in Low Broadband Adoption
Broadband Roundup6 months ago
Cable Industry Touts Energy Efficiency, Next Century Highlights Open Access Fiber, Aspen Forum Set
FCC10 years ago
Telecom Companies Are Using Fight Interrupting Oscar Ceremony Broadcast To Manipulate Public and FCC, Argue Broadcasters
Privacy and Security5 months ago
Comparing Privacy Policies for Wearable Fitness Trackers: Apple, Fitbit, Xiaomi and Under Armour
Open Access2 months ago
UTOPIA Fiber: A Model Open-Access Network
Antitrust5 months ago
Addressing the Impact of Big Data Upon Antitrust is More Complicated Than a Big Tech Breakup