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FCC Seeks Comment on Mediacom Unbundling Petition

The FCC has put out for public notice Mediacom's request that the commission force media conglomerates to unbundle their package programming deals.

That is according to Mediacom, which says the FCC is providing 30 days for initial comment.

On July 21, Mediacom petitioned the FCC for an expedited rulemaking. The cable operator said the relationship between programmers and distributors was broken and that the marketplace is now anti-competitive and anti-consumer.

Mediacom is seeking the following new rule regime:

1. Give MVPDs an a la carte option for new channels or the most expensive

2. Give MVPDs an unbundling option, with information about other offers and bundles

3. Prohibit the blocking or restricting of Internet access to programming as a negotiating tactic in agreements

4. Only allow volume discounts if they can be justified through waivers.

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.