Posted 19 January 2011 - 01:35 PM
I got the sense that the FCC was waiting for any pending litigation to get resolved before taking action on the loophole. As for the merger deal - I don't think one has anything to do with the other. That is, I don't believe there was any condition in the merger saying that Comcast had to cough over CSN Philly.
I also got the sense that Verizon lit a fire under the FCC, urging them to move on this.
My point was that what CV is arguing seems, to me, to be shaky at best. Mainly because, if you read the brief submitted by Verizon, they used DBS penetration as their justification for elimination of the loophole. They argued that they were being hurt, financially, by not having MSG HD. And that companies like DirecTV were being hurt financially by not having CSN Philly. The FCC bought that argument.
Now, if having exclusive (or semi-exclusive) control of a channel doesn't constitute an uncompetitive business practice... then how is it that these providers were hurt financially by NOT having those channels. In point of fact, it appears that the FCC, in agreeing with Verizon, is saying that companies like CV are engaging in uncompetitive business practices. The fact that CV chose this route is what I found interesting. I have a hard time believing any judge would look at the arrangement and say 'yep... nothing unfair going on here!' No doubt CV will argue that their arrangement doesn't fall under the specifics of the law that they cite, and therefore the law isn't applicable in their case. Again, I have a real hard time buying their argument - and I don't see a judge swallowing it either.
Hopefully my sense of the matter (that the FCC is waiting for pending litigation to get resolved before moving on the matter) is correct. If that's the case, then once this litigation gets put to bed, things should move fairly quickly.