Time Warner, Others Seek FCC Retrans Fixes


Time Warner Cable is expected to file a petition at the FCC atop a coalition of cable operators and others asking the FCC to reform the retransmission consent process.

According to sources, the petition is asking for independent arbitration during retrans disputes and interim carriage during that arbitration.

That comes in the wake of a high-profile retrans impasse between Time Warner and Fox last December, and the more recent stand-off between
Time Warner, the nation's No. 2 cable operator, is joined by some of its smallest.

The American Cable Association, which represents small and mid-sized operators, confirmed that it had signed on to the petition.

"The suggested remedies in the petition raise some of the ideas the FCC should consider, and ACA gladly signed this petition with larger operators to make them known," said ACA president Matthew Polka in a statement. "As this process moves forward, ACA intends to address also the rampant price discrimination faced by smaller cable operators and their customers and the need for regulations to fix this problem as well."

That was said not to be one of the petition's suggestions.

"Once the FCC puts this petition out for public comment," said Polka, "ACA will add this issue to the list of problems with the current retransmission consent rules, particularly for smaller operators, and strongly advocate for the problems to be solved."

Also said to either be considering signing on to the petition or already on it are Dish Network, DirecTV, Verizon, Mediacom, Charter and Public Knowledge.

A Time Warner spokesperson would not discuss the substance of the petition, but did confirm that it is filing the document this week.