Proposed FCC Rules Would Make a Difference

Washington D.C.  March 11, 2011 –   Showing no shame, LIN Media continues to keep viewers in the dark, going on Day 6 with its blackout of 27 stations in 17 markets.  While it won’t come soon enough for these viewers, the Federal Communications Commission could protect consumers in future blackouts by adopting proposals in the rulemaking it will soon initiate.  For example, if the FCC eliminates the network non-duplication and syndicated exclusivity rules, a pay-TV provider could bring blacked out viewers a station from another market so they would not miss network programs.  That would not only protect viewers from broadcaster shenanigans, but make retransmission consent more of a free market.  We urge the FCC to publish the NRPM as soon as possible to get us closer to the day when broadcaster blackouts are history.

Markets affected by LIN Media blackout: Albuquerque, N.M.; Austin, Texas; Buffalo, N.Y.; Columbus, Ohio; Dayton, Ohio; Fort Wayne, Ind.; Grand Rapid, Mich.; Green Bay, Wis.; Indianapolis; Lafayette, Ind.; Mobile, Ala.; New Haven, Conn.; Norfolk, Va.; Providence, R.I.; Springfield, Mass.; Terre Haute, Ind.; and Toledo, Ohio.  Stations include CBS, FOX, NBC, CW and MyNetwork affiliates.