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.
AT&T 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
"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.