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Reps. Push FCC For Liberman Decision

As Comcast continues to pursue Fox assets, which if successful would require government approval, a couple of legislators are raising the issue of Liberman Broadcasting's program carriage complaint.

On Aug. 26, 2016, the FCC's Media Bureau said the broadcasters' retrans issues with Comcast did not equate to program carriage under the FCC rules because TV station owner Liberman was not a video programming vendor under those rules and so did not have standing to bring the complaint.

Liberman Broadcasting, parent of Spanish-language network Estrella TV, then asked the FCC's Media Bureau to reconsider its decision.

Reps. Tony Cardenas and Raul Ruiz, both California Democrats, in a letter to FCC chairman Ajit Pai, pointed out it has been more than 18 months since that reconsideration petition was filed and asked for an update on its status, including when they should expect a decision, by July 12, saying the company deserved certainty.

An FCC spokesperson had no comment on the status of the petition, though, as a Liberman representative pointed out, FCC Commissioner Michael O'Rielly talked in a speech to the Free State Foundation this week about such petitions lying dormant for years. "Consider that a reconsideration petition can sit dormant for upwards of a decade without anyone blinking an eye or getting a court to grant a mandamus petition. That’s nonsense."