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Senate Subcommittee Eyes Fall Wrap-Up for MVPD Investigation

The Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations signaled Thursday that it will be wrapping up its investigation into the cable and satellite industry before the end of the year.

The subcommittee is holding a hearing Thursday on cable customer service and billing practices with witnesses from the top MVPDs, including Comcast, Charter, AT&T and Dish.

In a notice about that hearing, the office of ranking member Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) signaled a fall 2015 timetable for wrapping up its general investigation into "barriers to competition," including "the difficulties faced by companies attempting to create innovative new television delivery models."

It was a year ago this month that the subcommittee sent subpoenas to cable operators and other MVPDs seeking information, including program contract information, related to over-the-top (OTT) video service.

McCaskill, a veteran cable rate and service critic, was said to be the driving force behind the investigation. Subpoenas for documents and records can be issued by any member of the subcommittee.

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.