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Cablevision wins exemption from some cable regulations

Mon, 11/25/2013 - 1:30pm
Brian Santo

The FCC has determined that Cablevision will not be subject to community regulation of basic cable rates in about two dozen towns that the MSO serves.

Cablevision earlier this year petitioned the FCC, asserting that DirecTV and Dish Network now have enough of a percentage of total video viewers in those two dozen communities that those markets are now effectively competitive.

By law, a franchise area must be served by at least two unaffiliated multichannel video program distributors (MVPDs); each of those two must offer comparable programming to the cable incumbent to at least 50 percent of the households in the franchise area. The Policy Division of the FCC’s Media Bureau determined that the two DBS companies qualify.

In addition, one of the MVPDs other than the largest in a franchise area must have at least 15 percent of the subscribers in that area. In this case, Cablevision itself qualifies under that rubric.

The FCC determined that the communities specified by Cablevision qualify under those conditions, and so ordered “that the certification to regulate basic cable service rates granted to or on behalf of any of the Communities set forth on Attachment A IS REVOKED.” (Emphasis is the FCC’s.)

Attachment A is the list of communities around the New York City area submitted to the FCC by Cablevision where it demonstrated that competition applied, and where it is now exempt from community regulation of basic cable rates. Those communities include East Fishkill, Plattekill, Millbrook, Washington, Atlantic Beach, Old Westbury, Unionville, and Bellport.

Cablevision declined to comment.

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