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ComCorp. Fires Back At Baja Broadband

KTSM-TV El Paso owner Communications Corp. of America (ComCorp.) has responded to a retransmission consent negotiation complaint filed against the station at the FCC with one of its own right back at Baja Broadband.

In a complaint being filed with the FCC Tuesday, KTSM argues that it was Baja that failed to negotiate in good faith, and said it has been continuing to carry the station on its Albuquerque multichannel video systems without permission. ComCorp. had filed a separate complaint about that as well.

KTSM-TV calls Baja's own "failure to negotiate" complaint against the station frivolous, saying Baja only it after ComCorp. filed its complaint about unauthorized carriage.

Baja claimed in its complaint to the FCC that it had notified the station of carriage, got no response, then, in the context of the renegotiation, KTSM "springs from hiding, claiming illegal carriage and copyright infringement. Baja wanted the FCC to tell it whether, under those circumstances, Baja was entitled to carry the station because KSTM's silence was tacit agreement.

Comcorp. calls that a "specious and sham pleading," saying that it was ready to negotiate, and that it did not consent to carriage since FCC rules require cable operators to obtain "express, written consent."

ComCorp. wants the FCC to remedy three things: 1) Baja's refusal to negotiate; 2) Baja's filing, which ComCorp. calls an abuse of commission process; and 3) the continued, "unlawful," carriage of KTSM on Baja's systems, which includes one in Truth or Consequences, N.M.

It is now up to the FCC to judge the truth of both complaints and the consequences to either.