Low-Power Stations Unite!

WASHINGTON — The LPTV Spectrum Rights Coalition has put out a call to lowpower stations to provide input on their experiences in negotiating leased-access or retransmission-consent deals with Comcast, Time Warner Cable or Charter Communications.

The Federal Communications Commission has stopped the clock on its review of the Comcast-Time Warner Cable merger until at least Oct. 29 and will let commenters weigh in until then on Comcast’s 850-page fi ling responding to critics of the deal, which also includes system spinoff s and trades with Charter.

The FCC has said it needs more time to vet an economic study about discrimination against nonaffiliated programming that refutes the agency’s own analysis in its review of Comcast’s 2011 acquisition of programmer NBCUniversal.

The coalition is using that time to try and drum up examples of stations that have had contract problems with any of the three merger players. It has gone so far as to email links to a template survey to provide input and documentation on any issues.

“Many LPTV licensees (including this writer) have reported having hassles and no cooperation from the merger partners during either leased access or retransmission consent conversations,” coalition director Mike Gravino wrote in putting out the call.

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.