Citations Affected: IC 8-1-37.
Synopsis: Cable programming arbitration. Provides that an
independent cable programmer may request arbitration if it believes
that a vertically integrated cable operator that owns a competing
programming channel has discriminated against it. Specifies the
remedies that the attorney general may seek against a vertically
integrated cable operator that engages in a pattern of discrimination
against independent cable programmers.
Effective: July 1, 2008.
January 8, 2008, read first time and referred to Committee on Interstate and International
A BILL FOR AN ACT to amend the Indiana Code concerning
utilities and transportation.
in 47 U.S.C. 522(13)); and
(2) an affiliate or a subsidiary of the cable operator or multichannel video programming distributor.
Sec. 3. As used in this chapter, "extended basic service" means a category of cable service provided by a cable operator that is immediately superior (in terms of price and number of channels) to basic cable service (as defined in 47 U.S.C. 522(3)).
Sec. 4. As used in this chapter, "final offer" means an offer to contract for carriage of programming for a period of at least three (3) years.
Sec. 5. As used in this chapter, "independent programmer" means a person that:
(1) is engaged in the production, creation, or wholesale distribution of video programming that is not affiliated with a vertically integrated cable operator; and
(2) offers a cable programming channel that competes in the same programming category as a cable programming channel operated by a vertically integrated cable operator.
Sec. 6. As used in this chapter, "programming category" means programming that predominantly contains one (1) of the following types of information:
(2) News and public affairs.
(4) Any other category identified by the American Arbitration Association.
Sec. 7. As used in this chapter, "programming channel" means a channel with programming generally considered comparable in terms of signal quality and other features to programming provided by a television broadcast station.
Sec. 8. As used in this chapter, "vertically integrated cable operator" means a cable system franchisee:
(1) to which more than fifty percent (50%) of the television households in its franchise area subscribe for video service; and
(2) that, through a company affiliated with the cable system franchisee, acts as:
(A) a distributor; and
(B) a producer;
of content for its own and other cable systems.
Sec. 9. A vertically integrated cable operator that carries on its extended basic service a programming channel that it owns has a
duty to treat in a fair, reasonable, and nondiscriminatory manner
an independent programmer concerning carriage of any cable
programming channel owned by the independent programmer that
competes in the same programming category with a programming
channel that the vertically integrated cable operator owns.
Sec. 10. (a) If an independent programmer believes that a vertically integrated cable operator has not treated it in a fair, reasonable, and nondiscriminatory manner concerning carriage of a competing programming channel, the independent programmer may request arbitration with the vertically integrated cable operator over the terms and conditions of carriage not more than ninety (90) days after:
(1) a first time request for carriage of the competing programming channel; or
(2) the renewal of a carriage agreement involving the competing programming channel.
(b) If a dispute described in subsection (a) remains unresolved ten (10) days after submission of the request for arbitration, either the independent programmer or the vertically integrated cable operator may file with the American Arbitration Association a formal demand for arbitration. The formal demand must include a final offer. The American Arbitration Association shall notify the responding party of the demand for arbitration and provide a copy of the final offer. Not more than five (5) days after receiving the notice from the American Arbitration Association, the responding party shall submit its responses on price (but not terms and conditions) to the American Arbitration Association.
Sec. 11. (a) The arbitration must be decided by a single arbitrator under the applicable expedited procedures of the commercial arbitration rules of the American Arbitration Association. The arbitrator shall use the:
(1) cash price that most closely approximates the fair market value of the disputed programming carriage rights, whether submitted by the initiating or responding party; and
(2) terms, conditions, and form of the contract submitted by the initiating party.
(b) The arbitrator may consider any relevant evidence to determine the fair market value of the disputed programming carriage rights, including the following:
(1) Current or previous contracts between the independent programmer and other cable operators, including offers made in negotiations relating to the contracts.
addition to any other remedy provided under this chapter.