FCC Splits Cable One Carriage Decision

The FCC's Media Bureau has split an earlier carriage decision that went against MSO Cable One.

The bureau said Tuesday that it has concluded that only one of two LPTVs Cable One had declined to carry actually provided a signal of sufficient quality to warrant that carriage.

The Media Bureau's initial July 24 decisions — they were issued separately — favored both WPRQ-LD Clarkesville, Miss., and WHCQ-LD Cleveland, Miss., provisionally granting both their carriage requests on Cable One systems.

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But it gave Cable One a chance to provide conclusive evidence that the stations did not provide a good quality signal—the FCC had concluded Cable One's initial tests did not comply with the FCC's standards, but since that didn't necessarily mean the stations did provide a good signal, it granted the carriage provisionally but gave Cable One the chance to re-test.

The results: WPRQ does not provide a good quality signal; Cable One does not have to carry it; and if WPRQ improves the signal sufficiently, it can re-petition for carriage. WHCQ provides an acceptable quality signal; Cable One has agreed to carry it on or before Sept. 22; WHCQ must indemnify Cable One against increased copyright costs since WHCQ's signal will be a distant signal on a handful of communities Cable One's systems serve. WHCQ says it doesn't want to be carried in those communities so disputed the requirement.

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.