ACA, Dish: Programmers' Arguments on Deal Docs 'Surreal'

The American Cable Association and Dish Network teamed up to tell a federal court that it should allow third parties to see programming documents related to the proposed Comcast/Time Warner Cable and AT&T/DirecTV mergers.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit has stayed the FCC's decision to make the documents available pending its decision on an underlying challenge in that court to the FCC decision by programmers including CBS, Disney, Fox, Scripps, Time Warner (a separate company from Time Warner Cable) and Viacom. They say the FCC is trying to make too much VCPI (Video Programming Confidential Information) available to too many people without sufficient protections.

In an intervenors brief to the court Monday in support of the FCC, ACA and Dish said that those programmers had depicted a "surreal world where the ordinary need for review of programming documents in a media merger proceeding has somehow become unprecedented, and the extraordinary protections that the FCC has already afforded Petitioners have correspondingly become insufficient."

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John Eggerton

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.