FCC exploring role in TV programming disputes

(AP) -- Federal regulators will explore whether they can do more to protect consumers from losing their television signals because of disputes over the fees that subscription-video providers pay broadcasters for their programming.

Wednesday's announcement by the follows a high-profile spat between Cablevision Systems Corp. and .'s Fox network. That stand-off left 3 million Cablevision subscribers in the New York area without Fox programming for 15 days - including through two World Series games - after the broadcaster pulled its signal.

Although Cablevision had called on the FCC to step in, the agency remained on the sidelines. FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski has said the commission has very limited authority to get involved in what are essentially private business negotiations.


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