Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) is looking to light a fire under the FCC's retrans rulemaking.
In a letter to FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski Wednesday (June 29), he called on him to complete the proceeding in time to have new rules in place to govern the next round of retrans deals coming due.
He pointed to the "more than a thousand carriage deals set to expire by the end of the year," and the smaller pay-TV operators in his state who have complained of more frequent retrans impasses and higher bills to their customers.
King points out that the comment period is over and the industry "awaits a final rule."
Broadcasters are in no hurry for the FCC to weigh in, citing the vast majority of deals that get done quietly and without signal interruptions.
The FCC on March 3 issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking signaling it would at least clarify what constitutes good-faith negotiations for cable carriage of TV station signals, and could go further by excising exclusivity rules and allow pay TV providers to negotiate with more than one station for carriage.