FCC Sets Program Inquiry Comment Deadlines

The FCC has set the comment deadlines for its Notice of Inquiry into the "principal challenges independent video programmers face in gaining carriage of their content on both traditional and emerging distribution platforms."

Comments are due March 30, reply comments are due April 19.

The commission voted to launch the inquiry at its February public meeting. The vote was unanimous, but with some reservations.

In outlining the inquiry, Media Bureau chief Bill Lake called it a fact-finding enterprise on program diversity and possible ways to address complaints that cable operators and other MVPDs might be stifling competition.

The FCC is inviting comment on the state of the marketplace and the challenges to entry. The FCC is seeking comment on most favored nation and alternative distribution method provisions in contracts, which independents have said can hinder their access. It is also seeking comments on OTT distribution, program bundling, and PEG issues.

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.