Public Knowledge Asks FCC to Ensure that Retransmission Consent System Protects Viewers

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Today, Public Knowledge and Open Technology Institute filed joint comments on the Retransmission Consent rules to the Federal Communications Commission in response to the agency’s September 2014 notice of proposed rulemaking.

The following can be attributed to John Gasparini, Policy Fellow at Public Knowledge:

“Public Knowledge has reiterated its support of reforms that would prevent blackouts from being used as tools for negotiation. Above all, the Commission must ensure that its rules serve the interests of viewers.

“Additionally, we have asked the Commission to examine ways in which certain abuses of market power by large programmers or large multichannel video programming distributors may be instances of ‘bad faith’ negotiation. Some kinds of ‘most favored nation’ clauses or forced bundling of broadcast with non-broadcast programming may be examples of this, as well as overreaching demands by large MVPDs.

“The purpose of the retransmission consent system is not to give extra negotiating leverage to national programming networks, or to give extra tools to large MVPDs to use against smaller programmers, but to promote video competition and fair bargaining while protecting consumers.”

You may view these comments for more information.

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