A proposal to grant cable must-carry status to Class A television stations has disappeared from today’s FCC Open Meeting. There are multiple possibilities, among them that the statistical underpinnings are not yet up to snuff; that someone in the FCC legal department may be wondering about its durability when subjected to judicial review; or perhaps Martin simply does not yet have the votes to push it through.
The proposal faces strong opposition from the cable community, which says that forcing such stations onto the channel lineup may simply force other similarly programmed stations off. Organizations comprised of low power and niche broadcasters, including the Community of Broadcasters Association, have been pushing the proposal. The National Association of Broadcasters has pretty much stayed on the sidelines.
RBR/TVBR observation: With Martin pushing the proposal, we would have added in the two Democrats to pencil in three yea votes to move this forward at the outset, with the possibility of one or two more from the remaining Republicans. A version of this could show up during another meeting, or it could be done on circulation. Stay tuned.