/// FCC Trying to End CBS-Time Warner Cable Standoff
The Federal Communications Commission is trying to use its powers of persuasion to end the standoff between CBS and Time Warner Cable. With the standoff now in its 26th day (retrans reform advocates are keeping count), failed negotiations between CBS and Time Warner Cable have left more than 3 million cable subscribers without CBS stations in markets such as New York, Dallas and Los Angeles. The blackout is turning out to be among the longest in the history of retrans feuds. Although the FCC has limited authority to prevent or stop blackouts, it can put pressure on the two companies to resolve their differences. “The commission is engaged at the highest levels with the respective parties and working to bring the impasse to an end for consumers and viewers in the affected markets. Our primary concern remains with consumers and viewers, and we are disappointed that the respective parties have yet to reach a retransmission agreement. We urge all parties to resolve this matter as quickly as possible so consumers can access the programming they rely on and are paying for,” said an FCC spokesman Tuesday. The FCC's limited involvement in the dispute follows acting chair Mignon Clyburn's statement at the FCC's monthly meeting Aug. 9 that she was “really distressed” about the situation and was “ready to consider appropriate action if this dispute continues.” Strong words indeed, but in reality the FCC's hands are tied.
FCC Trying to End CBS-Time Warner Cable Standoff