FTC Calls For Sacking PTAR

The Federal Trade Commission last week urged the FCC to eliminate the primetime access rule, the reg that requires Big Three network affils in the top 50 markets to set aside an hour of primetime for non-network-supplied programs.

The FTC comments were among a slew of filings from parties interested in retaining, modifying or killing PTAR.

The FTC concluded that justification for the continuation of the rule is questionable, claiming that there are no obvious impediments to entry and growth by suppliers of programming.

ABC, CBS and NBC agreed with the FTC recommendation.

Network affiliates, however, asked the FCC to lift only the PTAR provision that bars affils from carrying off-network reruns in. access. A similar request was made by the Walt Disney Co., which has waged a lengthy war to modify PTAR, and Group W.

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