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FCC: 'Engaged' In Trying to End CBS/TWC Retrans Fight

An FCC spokesman suggested Monday that the commission is now actively working with both CBS and Time Warner Cable to help them resolve their retrans dispute.

FCC Acting Chairwoman Mignon Clyburn said two weeks ago that she was ready to consider "appropriate action" if the dispute continues. At the time, she said the FCC was continuing to monitor the situation.

But in a statement Monday, an FCC spokesman said that the FCC 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."

"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," the spokesman added.

The FCC has historically taken a role in trying to bring the parties together. The spokesman would not elaborate on what exactly the FCC was doing to help bring about a resolution. But according to a source, one of the parties must file a complaint -- neither had at press time -- before the commission can weigh in on whether either side is violating FCC rules mandating good faith negotiations, which is the regulatory muscle the FCC can flex under its current rules.

CBS stations in New York, Los Angeles and Dallas, plus cable channels Showtime and Smithsonian, have been dark on Time Warner Cable systems since Aug. 2.