Leased access

Leased access

Leased Access airtime is airtime that the Federal Communications Commission mandates must be provided by cable operators (i.e. companies like Comcast and Time Warner Cable) for use by cable programmers, i.e., those who make cable programming, who are not owned by the operators. The prices for leased access airtime are subject to a maximum set by an FCC formula and therefore in theory cannot be manipulated by cable companies. Cable companies, however, can "manipulate" prices through lobbying the FCC. Indeed, in 1997, the FCC set maximum prices based on an "average implicit fee" formula which set the prices considered by cable programmers to be very high. Lower prices would likely encourage increased usage of leased access by independent programmers. Leased access airtime may be purchased by individuals or groups with E&O insurance for the purposes of airing television content, usually locally produced.

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