Want to know how bad things have gotten between programmers and distributors? Check out Charter CEO Tom Rutledge’s comments on dealing with programmers at Deutsche Bank’s media conference Wed. “It’s kind of like that scene in the Deer Hunter where you’re in that cage in the river with the rats crawling all over you, and every once in a while you get pulled up to play Russian roulette. That’s what it’s like. And we’re all sort of trapped in the cage with the rats.” Here’s more from him on high programming costs, the possibility of a sports surcharge fee and comments from DirecTV’s CFO Patrick Doyle on NFL Sunday Ticket talks.

More top stories in today’s CableFAX Daily:

 
Rovi struck a license deal with Hulu, resolving outstanding patent litigation.
 
At Digital Hollywood’s Media Summit in New York analysts and execs talk the threat of 4G and strategy for hyper-targeted advertising.
 
Time Warner’s board authorized management to proceed with plans to separate Time Inc from Time Warner.

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FTC Rejects Vertical Merger Guidelines

The FTC voted Wednesday to rescind the vertical merger guidelines it jointly issued in June 2020 with the DOJ .

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