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Re: AT&T/Comcast rates

<<On Sun, 24 Nov 2002 18:46:03 -0500, Richard Chonak <rac@gabrielmass.com> said:

> If an affiliate (not Disney-O&O) were to collude with Disney to
> impose conditions on a cable operator, I would think that it's a
> "combination in restraint of trade".  Obviously there must be
> some aspect of the deal that makes this all pristine.

Retransmission consent on the part of the station, plus their
affiliation contract with the network.  The network agrees to pay them
thus-and-so if the station agrees to stipulate this-and-that in their
retrans-consent agreements with the cablecos.  So long as the station
has the option of affiliating without being paid for the privilege, I
expect it's still on the up-and-up.  (In any case, this question is
highly unlikely to have ever been, or ever to be, litigated.)

Effectively, the affil gets a kickback from the network as
compensation for the cross-promotion of the network services on their
air.  (You will recall that many affiliate groups were furious when
the networks started cross-promoting cable-only services -- notice how
quickly those gripes faded?)

It used to be that affiliation contracts were public information,
required to be deposited in the public inspection file.  I don't know
if there is still any such requirement.