Genachowski: FCC Is Monitoring Hearst/TWC, But Power Is Limited
Says Congress should not wait on FCC action on retrans if it wants to take action in face of changed market
By John Eggerton -- Broadcasting & Cable, 7/10/2012 1:19:44 PMretrans dispute between Time Warner Cable and Hearst, and that the FCC is monitoring the situation, but reiterated that the FCC's authority is limited.
Rep. Charles Bass (R-N.H.) raised the issue at an FCC oversight hearing in the House Communications Subcommittee Tuesday.
Bass said many New Hampshirites have awoken to a blue screen when the only full-power network affiliate in the state went dark on the Time Warner Cable system.
Bass said he had corresponded with the chairman over their agreement that consumers were being harmed by the disputes, and pushed for an answer on when the FCC would act on its proposals -- it has been over a year since they were offered up.
The chairman said that under the "old laws" the FCC's authority is limited, but reiterated that he was willing to work with Congress on whether the law needed to be updated per changes in the marketplace.
When pressed again for an answer on when the FCC would complete its proceeding on its proposed changes, Genachowski said he would need to get back to him, saying again that the FCC's options are limited, but adding that the committee should not wait for the FCC to act.
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