Comcast/Charter/TWC Defend FCC Protective Orders

In a joint filing, Comcast, Time Warner Cable and Charter all told a federal court Monday that it should allow the FCC to make program contracts they are providing the FCC as part of its merger review available for inspection by third parties. That pits TWC against Time Warner, one of the companies asking the court not to allow the contracts to be so widely viewed.

The other parties to those contracts, the content providers, including broadcasters in retrans negotiations, have petitioned the court to block FCC release of those documents, which the FCC had planned to release Monday at 3 p.m. before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia put that release on hold until at least Nov. 19 while it hears from both sides about the stay request.

Comcast/TWC/Charter said they did not have a problem with the release of the VPCI (Video Programming Confidential Information) given that it was going to "certain consel and consultants" of interested parties "subject to stringent protective orders."

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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.