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In the US broadcasters have certain “retransmission” rights—cable systems cannot just carry broadcast stations willy nilly. This is a complex, highly regulated area of the law that tries to balance the interests of viewers, cable systems, broadcasters, and content creators. Broadcasters have two choices: must-carry and retransmission consent. The latter option is more negotiation-intensive and in recent years, broadcasters who also own cable channels have started including those channels in negotiations with cable TV providers.
Public Knowledge's Position
Public Knowledge fights to ensure that broadcast and cable companies do not punish the consumer while negotiating with each other, and to prevent issues of intellectual property from distorting these agreements.
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