DirecTV teams with Time Warner Cable to fight retransmission consent fees

DirecTV (Nasdaq: DTV) is teaming up with Time Warner Cable  (NYSE: TWC) to lobby the FCC to rewrite its rules for retransmission consent.

The companies disclosed in an FCC filing that Time Warner Cable CEO Glenn Britt and DirecTV CEO Mike White met with FCC Commissioners Michael Copps and Robert McDowell on Wednesday.

"We explained that the retransmission consent fees demanded by broadcast stations continue to skyrocket and that the outdated regulatory regime, which prevents true marketplace negotiations, results in harm to consumers," Time Warner Cable VP of regulatory affairs wrote in a disclosure letter obtained by The Los Angeles Times.

Time Warner Cable, DirecTV and other pay TV distributors have complained for years about media giants News Corp. (Nasdaq: NWSA) and Walt Disney Co. (NYSE: DIS) using distribution deals for their respective Fox and ABC stations to force distributors to pay exorbitant fees for packages that include both cable networks and broadcast signals. New NBC owner Comcast (Nasdaq: CMCSA) has also said that it is looking to boost revenue through retransmission consent deals it can strike with NBC-owned stations.

The FCC is already reviewing its rules for retransmission consent. Wednesday meeting, featuring the CEOs of the second and third-largest pay TV providers in the U.S., shows that Comcast and other station owners may have to bulk up their resources to fight pay TV distributors that want to  the FCC to rewrite its retransmission-consent rules.

For more:
- the Los Angeles Times has this story

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