FCC Repeals Cable-TV Station Ban

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A rule that effectively banned the common ownership of a TV station and a
cable system in the same market was erased from the books by the Federal
Communications Commission Wednesday.

The rule -- adopted in 1970 when the agency sought to limit broadcaster
influence over the nascent cable industry -- was struck down Feb. 19, 2002, by a
panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit.

The rule was not an explicit cross-ownership ban. Instead, it barred a cable
system from carrying any broadcast signals if that system owned a TV station in
the same market. Since cable operators had to carry local stations under
separate rules, common ownership of a TV station and a cable system was
effectively precluded in a market.

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