FCC Says WNTH Can Invoke Syndex for WABC in Three of Four Communities

In a split decision, the FCC says WTNH-TV New Haven (Conn.)
can enforce its syndicated exclusivity protections and have duplicative WABC-TV
New York programming deleted from cable systems serving three of four
Connecticut communities, but the FCC upheld WABC's argument that it could not
do so for a fourth.

FCC rules prevent cable's importation of distant TV station
signals that duplicate the programming on an in-market station, but there is a
waiver for distant stations that have significant over-the-air viewership in a
relevant community.

WNTH petitioned the FCC to lift that waiver for the
communities of Meriden, Milford, Wallingford and Waterbury, Conn. The FCC
agreed to lift the waiver for all but Meriden. WABC had argued that there were
not sufficient survey results in Milford to justify lifting it in that market,
and the FCC agreed.

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.