Skip Navigation

Federal Communications Commission

English Display Options

Commission Document

Comcast, Effective Competition, Oregon

Download Options

Released: June 17, 2013

Federal Communications Commission

DA 13-1389

Before the

Federal Communications Commission

Washington, D.C. 20554

In the Matter of
)
)

Comcast Cable Communications, LLC
)
MB Docket No. 12-294, CSR 8726-E
)
Petition for Determination of Effective
)
Competition in 4 Communities in Oregon
)

MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

Adopted: June 14, 2013

Released: June 17, 2013

By the Senior Deputy Chief, Policy Division, Media Bureau:

I.

INTRODUCTION AND BACKGROUND

1.
Comcast Cable Communications, LLC, hereinafter referred to as "Petitioner," has filed
with the Commission a petition pursuant to Sections 76.7, 76.905(b)(2) and 76.907 of the Commission's
rules for a determination that Petitioner is subject to effective competition in those communities listed on
Attachment A and hereinafter referred to as the "Communities." Petitioner alleges that its cable system
serving the Communities is subject to effective competition pursuant to Section 623(l)(1)(B) of the
Communications Act of 1934, as amended ("Communications Act"),1 and the Commission's
implementing rules,2 and is therefore exempt from cable rate regulation in the Communities because of
the competing service provided by two direct broadcast satellite ("DBS") providers, DIRECTV, Inc.
("DIRECTV"), and DISH Network ("DISH"). The petition is unopposed.
2.
In the absence of a demonstration to the contrary, cable systems are presumed not to be
subject to effective competition,3 as that term is defined by Section 623(l) of the Communications Act and
Section 76.905 of the Commission's rules.4 The cable operator bears the burden of rebutting the
presumption that effective competition does not exist with evidence that effective competition is present
within the relevant franchise area.5 For the reasons set forth below, we grant the petition based on our
finding that Petitioner is subject to effective competition in the Communities listed on Attachment A.

II.

DISCUSSION

3.
Section 623(l)(1)(B) of the Communications Act provides that a cable operator is subject
to effective competition if the franchise area is (a) served by at least two unaffiliated multi-channel video
programming distributors ("MVPDs"), each of which offers comparable video programming to at least 50
percent of the households in the franchise area; and (b) the number of households subscribing to
programming services offered by MVPDs other than the largest MVPD exceeds 15 percent of the
households in the franchise area.6 This test is referred to as the "competing provider" test.


1 See 47 U.S.C. 543(l)(1)(B).
2 47 C.F.R. 76.905(b)(2).
3 47 C.F.R. 76.906.
4 See 47 U.S.C. 543(l)(1); 47 C.F.R. 76.905(b).
5 See 47 C.F.R. 76.906-.907(b).
6 47 U.S.C. 543(l)(1)(B); 47 C.F.R. 76.905(b)(2).

Federal Communications Commission

DA 13-1389

4.
The first prong of this test has three elements: the franchise area must be "served by" at
least two unaffiliated MVPDs who offer "comparable programming" to at least "50 percent" of the
households in the franchise area.7 It is undisputed that the Communities are "served by" both DBS
providers, DIRECTV and DISH, and that these two MVPD providers are unaffiliated with Petitioner or
with each other. A franchise area is considered "served by" an MVPD if that MVPD's service is both
technically and actually available in the franchise area. DBS service is presumed to be technically
available due to its nationwide satellite footprint, and presumed to be actually available if households in
the franchise area are made reasonably aware of the service's availability.8 The Commission has held that
a party may use evidence of penetration rates in the franchise area (the second prong of the competing
provider test discussed below) coupled with the ubiquity of DBS services to show that consumers are
reasonably aware of the availability of DBS service.9 We further find that Petitioner has provided
sufficient evidence to support its assertion that potential customers in the Communities are reasonably
aware that they may purchase the service of these MVPD providers.10 The "comparable programming"
element is met if a competing MVPD provider offers at least 12 channels of video programming,
including at least one channel of nonbroadcast service programming,11 and is supported in this petition
with copies of channel lineups for both DIRECTV and DISH.12 Also undisputed is Petitioner's assertion
that both DIRECTV and DISH offer service to at least "50 percent" of the households in the Communities
because of their national satellite footprint.13 Accordingly, we find that the first prong of the competing
provider test is satisfied.
5.
The second prong of the competing provider test requires that the number of households
subscribing to MVPDs, other than the largest MVPD, exceeds 15 percent of the households in a franchise
area. Petitioner sought to determine the competing provider penetration in the Communities by
purchasing a subscriber tracking report from the Satellite Broadcasting and Communications Association
that identified the number of subscribers attributable to the DBS providers within the Communities on a
zip code plus four basis.14 Petitioner asserts that it is the largest MVPD in the Harrisburg, Junction City,
and Springfield franchise areas.15 With respect to the Lane County community, Petitioner asserts that it
serves in excess of 15 percent of the households in this franchise area, while competing providers serve an
aggregate of more than 15 percent of the community.16
6.
Based upon the aggregate DBS subscriber penetration levels that were calculated using
Census 2010 household data,17 as reflected in Attachment A, we find that Petitioner has demonstrated that


7 47 U.S.C. 543(l)(1)(B)(i); 47 C.F.R. 76.905(b)(2)(i).
8 See Petition at 3-5.
9 Mediacom Illinois LLC, 21 FCC Rcd 1175, 1176, 3 (2006).
10 47 C.F.R. 76.905(e)(2).
11 See 47 C.F.R. 76.905(g); see also Petition at 5.
12 See Petition at Exhibit 1.
13 See Petition at 3-5.
14 Petition at 6-7. A zip code plus four analysis allocates DBS subscribers to a franchise area using zip code plus
four information that generally reflects franchise area boundaries in a more accurate fashion than standard five digit
zip code information.
15 See Petition at 7 and attached Declaration of Warren Fitting, Senior Director of Regulatory Accounting for
Comcast Cable Communications, LLC (September 25, 2012).
16 See Petition at 7-8, Exhibit 6 and attached Declaration of Warren Fitting, Senior Director of Regulatory
Accounting for Comcast Cable Communications, LLC (September 25, 2012).
17 Petition at 7-8; id. at Exhibit 6.
2

Federal Communications Commission

DA 13-1389

the number of households subscribing to programming services offered by MVPDs, other than the largest
MVPD, exceeds 15 percent of the households in the Harrisburg, Junction City, and Springfield franchise
areas. With regard to the Lane County community, we are able to conclude that this portion of the test is
met by analyzing the data submitted for both the Petitioner and its MVPD competitors. If the subscriber
penetration for both the Petitioner and the aggregate competing MVPD information each exceed 15
percent in the franchise area, the second prong of the competing provider test is satisfied.18 In the Lane
County community, the Petitioner's penetration rate is in excess of 15 percent and the combined
competing MVPD provider penetration rate is 50.22 percent.19 Therefore, the second prong of the
competing provider test is satisfied for each of the Communities. Based on the foregoing, we conclude
that Petitioner has submitted sufficient evidence demonstrating that both prongs of the competing
provider test are satisfied and Petitioner is subject to effective competition in the Communities listed on
Attachment A.

III.

ORDERING CLAUSES

7.
Accordingly,

IT IS ORDERED

that the petition for a determination of effective
competition filed in the captioned proceeding by Comcast Cable Communications, LLC

IS GRANTED

.
8.

IT IS FURTHER ORDERED

that the certification to regulate basic cable service rates
granted to any of the Communities set forth on Attachment A

IS REVOKED

.
9.
This action is taken pursuant to delegated authority pursuant to Section 0.283 of the
Commission's rules.20
FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION
Steven A. Broeckaert
Senior Deputy Chief, Policy Division, Media Bureau


18
Charter Communications, 21 FCC Rcd 1208, 1210, 5 (MB 2006); Time Warner Entertainment
Advance/Newhouse Partnership, 17 FCC Rcd 23587, 23589, 6 (MB 2002).
19 See Petition at 7-8, Exhibit 6 and attached Declaration of Warren Fitting, Senior Director of Regulatory
Accounting for Comcast Cable Communications, LLC (September 25, 2012).
20 47 C.F.R. 0.283.
3

Federal Communications Commission

DA 13-1389

ATTACHMENT A

MB Docket No. 12-294, CSR 8726-E

COMMUNITIES SERVED BY COMCAST CABLE COMMUICATIONS, LLC

2010 Census

Estimated DBS

Communities

CUIDs

CPR*

Households

Subscribers

Harrisburg
OR0193
19.31%
1,238
239
Junction City
OR0068
26.65%
2,184
582
Lane County
OR0171;
50.22%
38,986
19,577
OR0357
Springfield
OR0135
20.35%
23,665
4,816

*CPR = Percent of competitive DBS penetration rate.
4

Note: We are currently transitioning our documents into web compatible formats for easier reading. We have done our best to supply this content to you in a presentable form, but there may be some formatting issues while we improve the technology. The original version of the document is available as a PDF, Word Document, or as plain text.

close
FCC

You are leaving the FCC website

You are about to leave the FCC website and visit a third-party, non-governmental website that the FCC does not maintain or control. The FCC does not endorse any product or service, and is not responsible for, nor can it guarantee the validity or timeliness of the content on the page you are about to visit. Additionally, the privacy policies of this third-party page may differ from those of the FCC.