Comcast Celebrates Martin's Departure By Pulling Leased Access Channel.

I just got an email from the folks at Family-Life TV, a leased access channel on a bunch of Comcast systems in Pennsylvania, that Comcast just decided to drop their programming. Comcast claims Family-Life TV is in arears and owes 3 months worth of payments. David Croyle, who runs Family Life TV, tells me he has canceled checks to show he paid.

All I can say is “wow, that sure didn’t take long.” I wonder what other celebrations the cable boys have planned. Roasting a PEG programmer on a spit? Killing PEG in Los Angeles? Or perhaps just the ever popular “rate increase because we feel like it.”

I remain hopeful that the cable reform agenda will not die with Martin’s departure. At the least, it would be nice to see that the FCC will entertain complaints from leased access programmers when they get kicked off the air. Hopefully, it will take less than 3 years to resolve the complaint.

Stay tuned . . . .


  1. Harold – this is unrelated to the post, but I had a couple of questions on how the stimulus bill could affect the ancillary juris Comcast case. (At present, on p.53ish, the stimulus bill explicitly notes the 2005 FCC bband policy and requires grant recipients to follow it).

    1 – First, isn’t it a huge deal for the litigation that it was in there? Shouldn’t the briefs play that up quite loudly? I mean, it’s directly relevant to the policy arguments. And I think it’s at least marginally relevant (but politically important) to the jurisdiction question. Why would Congress put that in if it were outside the FCC’s powers?

    2 – Wouldn’t it just be easier to throw in a clause in that bill recognizing the FCC’s power in this context? That would end the litigation in one fatal swoop. I was toying around with writing an op-ed calling for this, but wasn’t sure if help or hurt the politics (assuming anyone took it of course).

  2. Seeing as how I am one of the attorneys involved, I don’t feel comfortable commenting on the first point.

    As for the second, I agree it would be very nice if Congress mooted the whole question by just stating explicitly that the FCC has authority in this area. Explicit delegation is always easier than ancillary authority.

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