Technology

FCC asks Fox and Cablevision to engage in positive negotiations

MUMBAI: The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has asked Fox and Cablevision to engage in positive negotiations over retransmission fees to ensure that consumer interests are protected.


A bitter dispute between the two has led to a blackout of Fox programming for 3 million of the cable giant‘s customers.
 
In letters to executives of both the parties, FCC asked the firms to show they are conducting their talks "in good faith" and "in an atmosphere of honesty, purpose and clarity of process."


The FCC action is the result of a push by lawmakers and public interest groups to the agency to help break the impasse. The FCC doesn‘t have the legal authority to directly intervene in retransmission-fee negotiations, but Commissioner Michael Copps and public interest groups argue that the agency can intervene if it is clear that both sides aren‘t conducting talks in good faith and hurting consumers in the process. 
 
It has been almost a week since News Corp. stopped beaming the signals of its Fox television stations in New York and Philadelphia from about 3 million Cablevision Systems Corp. homes in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut.


So far, the two companies are nowhere near reaching a deal, frustrating consumers and angering politicians. Answers to the FCC‘s inquiry are due by the end of business Monday.
 

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