As expected, the FCC's five commissioners voted unanimously to review rules governing retransmission consent negotiations between pay-TV operators and broadcasters.
Dish Network and DirecTV appear to have each separately launched websites aimed at educating their customers about retransmission negotiations and encouraging them not to switch providers due to programming blackouts.
Dish Network continues to negotiate with local TV broadcaster Sinclair Broadcasting over a new retransmission agreement-- the two companies narrowly averted a blackout of Sinclair's local TV station on Dish's satellite-based pay-TV service on Saturday.
The battle between cable operator Mediacom and local TV broadcasters has reached epic levels of rhetoric, with the National Association of Broadcasters issuing a fiery filing with the FCC calling Mediacom's requests "silly" and its customer service "dismal."
Cablevision is asking the FCC to make "robust" changes to decades-old rules that the company argues give broadcasters an increasingly unfair advantage in retransmission consent negotiations.
Granite Communications has blacked out three of its stations on Midwest-situated cable operator Mediacom, with an impasse over broadcast retransmission renewals quickly devolving into the usual fiery rhetoric.
The licensing and retransmission battles between programmers and pay-TV operators have taken on near-legendary status over the past few years, as costs for content continue to rise. From Dish Network's bitter words with Turner Networks to Viacom's tete-a-tete with Suddenlink Communications that saw all its channels pulled off the MSO, carriage negotiations have become nail-biting shows worthy of bringing popcorn along to watch.
Sling TV has signed up its first premium channel: The over-the-top service announced a deal with EPIX to bring four of the network's channels to subscribers, along with 2,000 video-on-demand titles.
Facing investor headwinds as it approaches upcoming licensing renewal deals with the No. 3 pay-TV operator in the U.S., Viacom is getting pressure in some Wall Street circles to remarry CBS Corp.
Fox News' total audience performance has declined by 21.4 percent since its parent company removed it from 14 million Dish Network homes on Dec. 20, according to Nielsen ratings data pulled exclusively for FierceCable by the research department of a leading media agency.