FCC Retracts "Egregious" From Cable One Violation

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"Take it back!" said Cable One, and the FCC did.

The cable operator paid the $20,000 fine the FCC levied over Cable One's “failure to provide” market protection from competition for the signal of Nexstar Broadcasting-owned NBC affiliate KSNF Miami, Okla., part of the Joplin, Texas, TV market. But the FCC has also wiped the "egregious" from its designation of the offense.

The ruling follows a protracted carriage battle between Cable One and Nexstar.

While sending in the check, Cable One argued that calling the offense "egregious" was unwarranted because it was trying to balance two seemingly conflicting FCC rules, one requiring it to "provide the requested network nonduplication protection" and one that requires it to "maintain the [carriage] status quo [in this case not providing that protection] pending the resolution of an associated market modification petition."

That argument did not convince the FCC not to levy the fine in the first place, but it seemed to help take the edge off the rebuke. Without elaboration, the FCC said Wednesday that the violation "was not properly characterized as egregious."

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