FCC Staff Proposing Cable-Ownership Rules

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Federal Communications Commission staff is proposing new cable-ownership
rules that will vary depending on a cable company's programming interests and
geographic clustering, FCC sources said Thursday.

The proposals call for allowing a single cable company to serve up to 45
percent of all pay TV subscribers if the company has limited
programming-ownership stakes and does not dominate many local markets.

However, cable systems vertically integrated with programmers that own large
clusters in large urban areas might have to comply with a 30 percent cap.

Under federal law, the FCC is required to adopt cable-ownership rules to
ensure that a cable company can't use its size to undermine competition in the
video-programming-acquisition market.

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