FCC Seeks Comment on Rule Changes Governing Resolution of Program Carriage Disputes

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The FCC has initiated a rulemaking proceeding seeking comments on proposed changes to its procedural rules governing the resolution of program carriage disputes between video programming vendors and Multichannel Video Programming Distributors (MVPDs). The FCC’s program carriage rules require MVPDs to set aside channel capacity for use by unaffiliated video programmers and provide procedures for dispute resolution. The FCC proposes to clarify that the statute of limitations governing program carriage disputes is triggered when an MVPD denies or fails to acknowledge a request for program carriage rather than when a notice of intent to file a complaint is provided to an MVPD. The FCC proposes the same for program access disputes, open video system (OVS) complaints, and good-faith retransmission consent complaints. The FCC also proposes to revise the effective date and review procedures governing initial decisions by FCC administrative law judges of program carriage and program access disputes, and OVS complaints, for consistency and to encourage the timely resolution of program carriage disputes. This proceeding is part of the FCC’s 2017 Modernization of Media Regulation Initiative. Comments are due 30 days, and reply comments 45 days, after publication in the Federal Register.

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