Cablevision has asked the Supreme Court to reexamine must-carry rules.
Cable has always believed must-carry to be unconstitutional, but to date the government and the court system have taken the position that cable companies are monopolies and the rules are justified to promote competition in the pay-TV market.
Cablevision’s new challenge hinges on a recent Circuit Court ruling in a case Comcast brought against the Federal Communications Commission. The FCC tried to restrict any cable operator from gaining more than 30 percent of all U.S. TV subscribers. (Comcast, the largest U.S. MSO, is nowhere near that figure but has almost unique potential to approach it.)
The Court decided in Comcast’s favor, citing a combination of rationales, among them the significantly heightened competitiveness of the market.
Cablevision long ago signaled its intent to leverage that decision to challenge must-carry rules. That the company has finally filed its objections with the Supreme Court was first reported by Multichannel News.