FCC Upholds Carriage Complaint Against TWC, HTSC in Hawaii
Says unique characteristics of island market and station's local programming were keys
By John Eggerton -- Broadcasting & Cable, 10/22/2012 4:20:52 PM
The station, under new ownership since 2011, asked for carriage, but the operators said no. KLEI then filed a must-carry complaint.
The FCC agreed with the cable operators that the station could not argue historical carriage -- neither had been carrying the station before it was bought in 2011 and the new owners sought carriage -- or that it was delivering an over-the-air signal to any of the communities it sought cable carriage in. Those are two of the four tests for carriage. But the FCC said the absence of those was not sufficient to deny the station's request, and said that the unique characteristics of the Hawaiian market and KLEI's "strong lineup of local programming of relevance to the inhabitants of Hawaii County and to all Hawaiians, as well as foreign-language programming targeted at special groups and residents," persuaded it to grant the carriage complaint.
TWC had also asked that it carry the station in digital-only version since the FCC lifted the dual-carriage/viewability mandate in June. But the FCC pointed out that it had included a six-month grace period for hybrid analog-digital carriage until December, which TWC would have to adhere to.
HTSC had said that if it carried KLEI, it should not have to carry it on channel 6 in Honolulu because it was already carrying station KBFD there. The FCC rejected that request as well. It pointed out that it has clarified -- very recently, in fact -- that a digital station, generally speaking, is entitled to be carried on its former analog channel number, which in the case of KLEI was 6 (KBFD was 32).
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