Keeping the Faith

The FCC's good faith negotiation rules were adopted in 2000 with a two-part test
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1) A broadcaster may not refuse to negotiate with an MVPD;

2) A broadcaster must appoint a negotiating representative with the authority to bargain;

3) A broadcaster must agree to meet at reasonable times and locations and cannot delay the course of negotiations;

4) A broadcaster may not offer a single, unilateral proposal;

5) in responding to an offer proposed by an MVPD, a broadcaster must provide reasons for rejecting any aspects of the offer;

6) A broadcaster is prohibited from entering into an agreement with any party conditioned upon denying retransmission consent to any MVPD; and

7) A broadcaster must agree to execute a written retransmission consent agreement that sets forth the full agreement between the broadcaster and the MVPD.

The second, called the totality of circumstances test, allowed for MVPDS to "present facts to the FCC which, even though they are not a specific violation listed above, given the totality of the circumstances constitute a failure to negotiate in good faith."

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