WASHINGTON -- Disney and other huge programmers are attempting to blunt a government effort that would prevent them from bundling channels in sales to cable and satellite operators.
In papers filed Friday, Disney told the FCC that it is barred from writing a rule that would void the so-called "tying arrangements" because that is outside the FCC's jurisdiction.
"The FCC cannot prohibit packaged offerings because it has no legal authority to do so," Disney said. "In order to adopt a regulation, an agency must have express statutory authority from Congress or properly exercise its ancillary jurisdiction. In this case, no part of the (law) authorizes the FCC to interfere with the substance of carriage negotiations."
While the proposal effects Disney, Viacom, NBC Universal and News Corp., Disney, with its ESPN family of networks and the Disney Channel, has become a leader in the fight over carriage deals.
Disney also contends that the regulation is unnecessary because the company doesn't "tie" its networks together.
"Disney does not require carriage of its two most popular cable channels: ESPN and Disney Channel," Disney Media Networks global distribution president Benjamin Pyne said in a sworn statement.