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49 Federal Communications Law Journal 99 (1996)


This article examines the legislative and economic history of the retransmission consent provision in the 1992 Cable Act. Retransmission consent provisions in the 1992 Cable Act allow broadcasters to enter into negotiations with cable operators regarding retransmission of their broadcast signal. The 1992 Cable Act requires broadcasters to choose between retransmission consent and must-carry provisions every three years. The first election period ended in October 1996 and a new election period begins January 1, 1997. Retransmission consent has had a noticeable effect on the evolution of cable television broadcasting, although it is arguably unclear whether retransmission consent has addressed the issues its proponents claimed it would address.