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Charter believes the FCC can go it alone on retransmission consent rules

Charter Communications, Inc., believes the Federal Communications Commission can go it alone when it comes to retransmission rules. In an ex-parte filing yesterday, Charter disclosed that it reiterated to FCC staff that the FCC had ample authority to implement new retransmission consent rules.

The rules, according to Charter, should prohibit retransmission consent leveraging by multiple broadcasters acting in concert. Charter gave examples of such leveraging. One example involves one company controlling multiple “big four stations”, for example, ABC, CBS, NBC, and Fox. This could lead to an escalation of retransmission consent fees, according to Charter.

Another example, according to Charter, is where several broadcast stations including at least two of the big four stations, designate one representative to negotiate fees for the block of stations.

Charter’s filing was made in the FCC’s docket addressing media ownership.