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MAP Says Fox Waivers Give Broadcaster UndueRetrans Clout

Cablevision got a shout-out Thursday for its argument that Fox was "improperly leveraging" its duopoly in New York, one that was secured through a now-expired FCC waiver.

That was the message from Media Access Project in a letter to FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski. The Chairman has indicated that he wants Fox and Cablevision to work out their retrans impasse rather than expecting the FCC to step in, but MAP SVP and Policy Director Andrew J. Schwartzman wrote that the FCC's failure to force divestiture or to act on challenges to News Corp. requests for "regulatory largesse," (including by MAP) have given the latter an "unfair advantage" in the retrans dispute.

Cablevision had made a similar point in arguing that Fox
was not bargaining in good faith. Fox in turn called Cablevision's
arguments about waivers and duopolies a "smoke screen," and suggested
Cablevision had plenty of leverage in the market
given its ownership of a newspaper, spots nets, regional news channels
and more.
Fox declined comment on MAP's seconding of the Cablevision argument.