An Update on Our Review of the Good Faith Retransmission Consent Negotiation Rules
Today I announce that we will not proceed at this time to adopt additional rules governing good faith negotiations for retransmission consent. Now let me be clear; this does not mean the Federal Communications Commission will turn a blind eye to disputes. Nor does it mean that Congress couldn’t expand the scope of the Commission’s authority in this space. What this decision does mean is that “totality of circumstances” is pretty broad and ought not to be constrained. There is nothing in the record that suggests that our current totality of the circumstances test, which is intentionally broad, is inadequate to address the negotiating practices of broadcast stations or multichannel video programming distributors (MVPDs) in the marketplace today.
What we need is not more rules, but for both sides in retransmission consent negotiations to take seriously their responsibility to consumers, who expect to watch their preferred broadcast programming without interruption and to receive the subscription TV service for which they pay. The Commission can investigate a potential good faith violation on its own and take enforcement action when a party fails to fulfill its statutory obligations.
An Update on Our Review of the Good Faith Retransmission Consent Negotiation Rules Wheeler: FCC Won't Change Retrans Negotiations Test (B&C)