FCC Chief on CBS, TWC Battle: Settle, or We'll Step In

“I am ready to consider appropriate action if this dispute continues," said Mignon Clyburn

The FCC's acting Chairman Mignon Clyburn on Friday delivered a warning to CBS and Time Warner Cable: Settle your retransmission dispute or the Federal Communicatons Commission will step in.

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Declaring she is still hopeful the two parties will reach agreement and “deeply disappointed” they haven't so far, Clyburn suggested her patience has some limits.

“The commission is actively monitoring the status of this particular dispute,” Clyburn told a Washington press conference. “This is Day 7 and quite frankly I am deeply disappointed that the parties seem unable to reach a retransmission agreement.

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“I am really distressed that consumers and viewers are being adversely affected. We have continued to urge all parties to stay and resolve in good faith this issue as soon as possible. However I affirm to you, I am ready to consider appropriate action if this dispute continues.”

Clyburn offered no indication of what action the FCC might take. While it might be difficult for the commission to completely settle the retransmission fight, public-interest groups have called for the agency to bar CBS from continuing to prevent internet subscribers to Time Warner Cable from seeing CBS programming.

The groups have noted that some subscribers to Time Warner Cable's internet service get their cable TV from other service providers and are being unfairly impacted.