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The Clock Isn’t Ticking On Charter-TWC Deal

Reports, including in Multichannel News, that the Federal Communications Commission’s 180-day informal shot clock on the Charter Communications-Time Warner Cable-Bright House Networks deal was finally ticking were belied by a check of the agency’s website Monday (Sept. 14).

While the clock had ostensibly started, and the telltale green bar signaled it was supposed to be running it still read “Day 0,” when Day 3 would have appeared to be the order of the day, as it were.

So what was the latest holdup after weeks when the clock had been held up by the ongoing non-release of deal protective orders opposed, for the most part, by FCC Republicans?

The Wire hypothesized that it might be (A) ongoing IT issues given the, well, ongoing IT issues related to the FCC’s upgrade of its website; (B) plain old human-error omission — The Wire is human, too, and understands; or (C) the Jewish New Year, which reduced the staff head count on Sept. 14.

An FCC spokesperson had no comment, noting that it was registering correctly at press time. Indeed it was. The Wire has it on good authority that the answer was A. The culprit: a tail-end tribulation of a marathon IT upgrade.

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.