FCC Likely to Renew Program Access

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The Federal Communications Commission is expected to extend cable
program-access rules for perhaps another four years through a vote at its June
13 meeting, sources said.

MSOs have fought for years to drop the rules, which force operators to sell
their satellite-delivered programming to competitors such as EchoStar
Communications Corp. and DirecTV Inc.

But Rep. Billy Tauzin (R-La.), who inserted the rules in the 1992 Cable Act,
claims that they were instrumental in the creation and rapid growth of the
direct-broadcast satellite industry.

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