Time Warner Cable Cablers Ask FCC To Referee TV Fee Brawls

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Days after Walt Disney Co. pulled the ABC’s plug in New York during their brawl with Cablevision over retransmission fees, cable companies are asking to the government to help referee the faceoffs.

Time Warner Cable, Cablevision, DirecTV, Verizon and other small cable companies wrote a petition to the FCC, as several outlets have reported, saying the current rules were outdated and need to be reformed.

They asked regulators to offer an arbitrator during standoffs over fees and wanted a requirement from broadcasters that they keep their signals in tact if negotiations hit a wall. 

The FCC did not comment on the petition, but it may be up for public review soon.

As Nikke Finke at Deadline.com notes: “Why the cable providers think the FCC will be on their side is a mystery to me. On the other hand, there’s no guarantee that the FCC will be on the side of the Big Media programmers, either. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: only the consumers reliably lose in these battles as their cable bills keep soaring no matter who blinks first.”

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