What one advocate is looking for in leased access


Attorney Dan Margolis of Leibowitz & Associates PA has been representing the interests minority programs in their attempt to improve access to the nation’s cable channel lineups, and viewed the plank on that topic at tomorrow’s Open Meeting with interest. "If the Commission makes changes to its rules that level the playing field for leased access programmers with respect to their negotiations with cable operators, these changes will represent the greatest advance that minority and local programmers could make in efficiently obtaining meaningful video outlets to serve their communities," he said. Specifically, he’s looking for "reduction in rates and the removal of procedural roadblocks that are artificially implemented by cable operators." Margolis says the Commission "must clarify what terms are considered to be commercially reasonable within the context of leased access agreements," and "address the negotiation process between cable operators and leased access programmers to ensure that there is a requirement that the negotiations are conducted as expeditiously as possible and that the contracts are not merely adhesion contracts unilaterally imposed by the cable operators."

TVBR/RBR observation: This is a cable question at the moment. But watch out — in a digital multichannel world, it could soon become a broadcast question, and a broadcast/cable question, as well.