AT&T has asked the FCC to require Cox to give AT&T access to its
regional sports net in San Diego, citing the FCC's recent
decision to loosen/close the terrestrial exemption.
points out that its request for review of an FCC decision denying an
earlier complaint has been pending for almost 11 months and the start of
the baseball season--Cox carries Padres games on that RSN--is only a
few weeks away.
"Despite the commission's confirmation that the
Cable Act's program access mandates are not limited by a so-called
'terrestrial loophole," Cox has persisted in its refusal to even
consider licensing must-have regional sports programming to AT&T in
San Diego," AT&T told the commission.
The FCC's Media Bureau
denied the complaint on the ground that there was no program access
mandate for vertically integrated, terrestrially delivered programming
(the so-called terrestrial exemption/loophole). The FCC has now said
that is no longer a blanket exemption from program access complaints.
AT&T said it unsuccessfully tried to initiate negotiations with
Cox earlier this month, and says it will suffer anticompetitive harm if
its U-Verse service does not have access to Padres games.