WealthTV worries that the proposed merger of Liberty and DirecTV will make it harder for the independent net to get carriage on the DBS platform because of the “incentive and power that the new, vertically integrated entity will have.” In an FCC filing late last week, WealthTV said it has unsuccessfully sought carriage on DirecTV for more than 3 years. Absent comprehensive carriage access reform—which was yanked from the FCC’s Nov 27 open meeting and appears unlikely to resurface soon—WealthTV wants conditions on the Liberty deal: Namely, 5% of the merged entity’s capacity reserved for independent programming that is not affiliated with any MVPD or broadcaster, and at least 80% of the reserved capacity allocated to indie programmers at any given time, with at least 80% of those nets receiving distribution on the 1st or 2nd most widely distributed tiers. DirecTV would have 2 years to meet the 5% goal, but no programming that is affiliated with Liberty or John Malone could be added until the 5% threshold had been met.

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At the FCC

The FCC Media Bureau is looking to refresh the record on closed captioning, which is nearly six years old.

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