The FCC is currently mulling over whether to give its stamp of approval to two huge mergers — Comcast/Time Warner Cable and AT&T/DirecTV — and is intending to make information available to third parties about the deals that that these pay-TV giants make with broadcasters. But even though you and every other cable subscriber wants to know exactly how much Comcast pays for access to channels like ESPN, MTV, and the major networks, the broadcasters want that info kept under lock and key — and they’ve asked the court to stop it from possibly going public.
UPDATE: The D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals has sided with the broadcasters [PDF] and stayed the FCC order, meaning that the documents will not be made available for review on Monday. The FCC has until noon on Monday to file a response and the broadcasters have two days after that to file a response of their own if they choose.
We’ve asked the FCC for comment and will update if we hear back.
Against the broadcasters’ protests, the FCC commissioners said earlier this week [PDF] that third parties would be able to review certain confidential information about programming deals between the broadcasters and pay-TV operators. This information would not be made available online (at least by the FCC) but only viewable in person by attorneys of parties connected in some regard to the merger at FCC headquarters and other “secure sites.”
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