Court Sides With FCC in Banning Exclusive Cable Deals

An appeals court on Friday said an FCC ban on exclusive cable contracts is A-OK.

That means satellite companies, smaller cable operators and new video entrants such as telcos will be able to keep offering popular movie and sports channels.

Comcast Corp. and Cablevision Systems Corp. had challenge the FCC’s 2007 decision. One of their sticking points was that sharing the content violated free speech rights.

But the majority of judges didn’t buy the argument. The one dissenting judge, Brett Kavanaugh, said the exclusivity ban fails “because it no longer serves an important government interest and it burdens more speech than essential to achieve its aims,” Reuters reported.

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