What's Left of Distant Signals After Exclusivity Blackouts?

by Rolla Edward Park

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An empirical study of the degree of restrictiveness of the so-called "exclusivity provisions" of the new cable television regulations of the Federal Communications Commission. These provisions require that certain programs be blacked out on the cable when broadcast by distant stations. To determine what difference these exclusivity provisions make and how much programming is affected, the program schedules of independent stations that might be carried as distant signals are compared with lists of programs that would have to be blacked out under the new rules. Information from four stations was used, and the general conclusion is that the exclusivity provisions severely restrict distant signals in markets where distant signals are not very important anyway--those with good over-the-air independent service. In markets where distant signals are important--those with little or no over-the-air independent service--the exclusivity provisions leave distant signals more-or-less intact. 8 pp.

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