FCC move to close program access loophole upheld

June 10, 2011 By JOELLE TESSLER , AP Technology Writer

(AP) -- A federal court is upholding a recent decision by government regulators to close a loophole that had allowed cable TV operators to withhold sporting events and other popular programming from satellite TV providers and other rivals.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia on Friday upheld most of a recent decision to close the so-called "terrestrial loophole" in a 1992 cable law.

Under that law, a must let competitors carry any channel it owns if it uses satellite connections to transmit the channel to individual cable systems around the country. But until the FCC closed the loophole in January 2010, the provision didn't apply when cable operators sent programming over land-based networks instead.

Cablevision had challenged the FCC's move.

Explore further: FCC closes loophole in cable program access rules

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