Cable Operators Seek Help to Avoid Future Blackouts
Cable operators want Washington to prohibit broadcasters from yanking channels during fee negotiations, a move that might help consumers avoid missing their favorite TV shows but would change the balance of power in price negotiations between station owners and cable companies.
A group of pay-TV operators, including Time Warner Cable Inc. (TWC), Dish Network (DISH) and Verizon Communications Inc. (VZ), filed a petition Tuesday asking the Federal Communications Commission to change its rules to require arbitration and prevent broadcasters from pulling their signals during fee negotiations. The issue also could come up at a Capitol Hill hearing Thursday.
Several TV providers also sent a letter to influential members of Congress Tuesday, asking them to “carefully examine the circumstances that have resulted in the current imbalance in retransmission consent negotiations.”