Google Fiber locked in new battle with Time Warner Cable

Says company 'backtracked' from regional sports programming agreement
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Google (Nasdaq: GOOG) complained to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) on Monday that Time Warner Cable (NYSE: TWC) has "backtracked" from agreeing to license its regional sports network, Metro Sports, to Google Fiber in Kansas City.

A Multichannel News story said Google made the claims "in reply comments filed Monday in the Federal Communication Commission's proceeding on program-access rules." Google argued the cable MSO was withholding Metro Sports from Google Fiber to leverage its control of a regional sports network and access to customers in the Kansas City area.

Google said it has signed a licensing deal with Fox Networks to carry that company's regional sports programming but could not reach a similar agreement with Time Warner Cable, claiming that after "delaying negotiations for months," TWC backed out of its end of the deal.

Time Warner Cable did not comment on the new development but referred Multichannel News to the cable company's statement in the fall of 2012, when Google and TWC faced a similar disagreement.

The statement said, in part, that TWC "has absolutely offered, and continues to offer, what the FCC describes as Metro Sports' 'must-have' live regional sports programming… at fair and reasonable prices."

The larger issue behind this newest conflict between the two companies competing for subscribers in the Kansas City area is the FCC's October 2012 decision to "sunset the ban on exclusive contracts between pay TV providers and co-owned programming networks," noted the story.

For more:
- see this Multichannel News story

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