The FCC and Retrans -- What's on the agenda?

SNL Kagan
October 11, 2011
1:30-3:00 pm

With retransmission consent negotiations increasingly leading to high-profile standoffs and blackouts, the FCC has decided that it is time to review the rules governing the retrans regime. In particular, the commission plans to examine the 'good faith' obligation in light of possible violations.

Is the good faith obligation really being broken, or are the actions of the affiliates a reasonable response given the increasing programming fees that network owners are demanding from affiliates? Could changes to the regime impact reverse compensation? Should the FCC even have the authority to institute significant reform?


  • What rules regulate retransmission currently and what changes are being considered for those rules? Why are these changes necessary, or are they even necessary?
  • What role can out-of-market stations play in retrans negotiations?
  • If, as expected, the reform leaves stations the right to pull their signals and if the FCC has no enforcement powers, will any reforms lead to meaningful change?


  • Robin Flynn – Senior Analyst, SNL Kagan
  • John K. Hane – Communications Practice, Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP
  • Tom Larsen – Group Vice President, Legal and Public Affairs, Mediacom Communications
  • Sarah Barry (moderator) – Senior Reporter, SNL Kagan