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Small Town’s Telecom Drama Continues: Municipal Utility Sues Cable Group For Discriminatory Access To Programming

NEW YORK, June 10, 2010 - A long-running feud between a municipal utility in Lafayette, La. and Cox Communications appears to have revived itself Wednesday when LUS Fiber filed a lawsuit against the National Cable Television Cooperative. LUS Fiber charges that the cable group is unfairly denying it membership, thus depriving the Lafayette utility from millions of dollars in savings when buying television programming. Keep Reading

FCC/Media Ownership

Distributors Should Provide Customers With Prominent Notice of Status of Programming Agreements, Says Local Broadcaster

SAN FRANCISCO, May 26, 2010 - The Federal Communications Commission could easily protect television viewers from having their programming disrupted by business disputes between broadcasters and program distributors by requiring the program distributors to conspicuously notify their customers of pending contract expirations, suggested an executive from a local broadcasting company in a recent filing with the commission. The commission has asked for public input on the question of whether it should change its rules regarding retransmission consent fees, the fees and fee packages that cable, satellite and telecom companies pay broadcasters for carrying the signals to their own customers in addition to compulsory copyright licensing fees. Keep Reading

FCC/Media Ownership

Discovery, Ovation and Starz Side With Cable and Telcos Against Broadcasters In Retrans Consent Fee Dispute

SAN FRANCISCO, May 26, 2010 -- The rules governing the terms on which cable and telecommunications companies get to retransmit broadcasters' signals definitely need an update, said a group of independent programmers in several recent filings with the Federal Communications Commission. The filings, from Discovery Communications, The Africa Channel, C-Span, Ovation, Retirement Living TV and Starz, all complain that federal law grants broadcasting companies too much power, and that has resulted in independent programmers' increasing marginalization. Keep Reading

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