FCC: Time Warner Must Stop Charging StogMedia Fees For Leased Access Programming

Will have to stop charging per-insertion fees, unless it charges the same fees to non-leased access programming

Filed at 1:40 p.m. on June 16, 2009

The FCC has ruled that putting infomercials on local origination channels does not convert them into local-origination programming that would not be subject to the leased access rules.

In a finding for Mississipi-based leased access programmer StogMedia, the FCC said that Time Warner will have to stop charging StogMedia for per-insertion fees for its leased access programming unless it charges the same fees to non-leased access programming, specifically infomercials it ran on a local origination channel.

Time Warner must also refund the fees it has already been charging.

The cable operator had also argued that it was bundling the fee in the form of sales commissions or purchase of ad time, but the FCC said it must be an itemized per-insertion fee comparable to that charged to StogMedia.

"I won one," said Stogner of the decision on one of numerous complaints he has filed over leased access issues.