Comcast, Cablevision think the FCC's exclusivity ban should be eliminated

After the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit overturned the FCC's 30 percent subscriber ownership cap, the cable industry thinks it may have the leverage it needs to also have the exclusive programming ban eliminated. Attorneys from Cablevision and Comcast jointly filed a complaint with the same court to challenge the FCC's 2007 order to extend the exclusivity ban an additional five years.

Much to the cable industry's chagrin, the FCC has kept renewing the exclusivity ban. A key component of the 1992 Cable Act, the FCC argued that the ban should be kept in place in order to require cable operator-owned networks to be made available to satellite operators. However, the joint Comcast and Cablevision filing argues that the 30 percent decision proves that the FCC's exclusivity ban is not justified. Although neither Comcast nor Cablevision would comment, the court will hear oral arguments September 22.

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