FCC Seeks Comment on Cable Service Change Notifications

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The FCC has announced that it has released a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking proposing to update the Commission’s rules regarding cable service change notification notices.  Change notification notices are written notices that cable operators must provide to subscribers and local franchise authorities (LFAs) that are designed to reduce the potential for consumer confusion in the context of program carriage disputes.  Currently, cable operators are required to provide 30 days advance notice of all service, rate, and channel lineup changes to subscribers and LFAs.  However, in today’s business climate, many retransmission consent and program carriage negotiations are often concluded within days, if not hours, before the expiration of existing agreements.  In light of the fast-moving cable retransmission landscape, the Commission seeks comment on whether to amend these notification rules and apply instead an “as soon as possible” notice standard.

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