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Cable greed being rained in?
Written by Daniel   
Wednesday, 14 March 2007 08:30
FCC may officially reinstate 30 percent cable ownership cap
By Eric Bangeman | Published: March 14, 2007 - 10:43AM CT
ARS Technica
The Federal Communications Commission will soon release a new cable ownership order that would bar cable companies from serving over 30 percent of pay television subscribers in the US. If the order is adopted by the FCC, it would make the currently enforced 30 percent limit a matter of law.

The 30 percent cap stems from a 1992 change to the nation's cable-ownership regulations by the FCC. Spurred by a concern that cable networks would have too few distribution outlets if the cable industry consolidated, the FCC decreed that no single company could serve more than 30 percent of the homes passed by cable companies. A few years later, the homes-passed metric was dropped in favor of total cable subscribers, but the 30 percent cap was kept in place.

In 2001, a federal court overturned the FCC's ownership limit and told the Commission to come up with a new set of guidelines for cable ownership. The new order in the works is a belated response to the 2001 ruling; in the intervening period, the FCC has continued to enforce the 30 percent limit, refusing to approve mergers where the combined entity would serve more than three in ten cable subscribers... More

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