/// Senate Hearing Gives Hope to Retransmission Reform Advocates

March 13, 2013  |  Media Week

The fun thing about an oversight hearing on the Federal Communications Commission is that there is always something for every constituent's pet issue, even if it's only for three minutes. Tuesday's Senate Commerce committee hearing was no exception, dredging up the problem of blackouts caused when cable systems and TV stations can't agree on a carriage fee. Soon after the hearing concluded late Tuesday, advocates for retransmission consent reform shoved a press release out the door applauding an exchange between Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), who wanted something done about blackouts, and FCC chairman Julius Genachowski. Even though Genachowski agreed that “it may be time to update those provisions to reduce the chances of those blackouts during retransmission consent negotiation,” he also delivered the big caveat that he's said all along. “Our authority under the existing statute is limited. This may be an area where we need to work with the committee,” Genachowski said. In other words, it will be up to Congress to do something about blackouts of programming that are caused when the cable system and TV station can't agree on mutually favorable terms

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Senate Hearing Gives Hope to Retransmission Reform Advocates

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