NCTA Backs FCC Program Carriage, Access Changes

NCTA-the Internet & Television Association, told the FCC it is on board with its proposed changes to rules governing program access, carriage, and good faith negotiations, saying it will clear up some ambiguity.

That came in comments on changes that NCTA said would "give greater certainty to parties, eliminate confusion, and provide a more consistent framework for adjudications."

Back in March, the FCC voted unanimously to seek comment on some proposed changes to its program carriage rules. 

The item, which combined a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking and Further Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, sought comment on whether and how to modify the time limit requirements for filing program carriage complaints, specifically the statute of limitations for program carriage disputes and how the FCC's Administrative Law Judge reviews those disputes. 

The item proposed to hold that "in circumstances where a defendant multichannel video programming distributor has denied or failed to acknowledge a request for program carriage, the statute of limitations is triggered by that action, rather than notice of intent to file a complaint on that basis." 

It would do the same for the statute of limitations for "program access, open video system (OVS), and good-faith retransmission consent complaints." 

It also proposed to "harmonize" the process the FCC and ALJ use to review such complaints to help resolve those complaints faster. 

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.