To the relief of three million Cablevision customers who were left without access to Fox sports and other programming for two weeks, executives of Cablevision and of Fox parent company News Corp. reached agreement last Saturday on renewed carriage terms that restored Fox programming in time for the third game of the Major League Baseball World Series. Saturday’s pact, however, was not enough to quell the calls of FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski and two top members of the Senate Communications Subcommittee for legislation that would empower the FCC to block any threatened service outage as parties in a retransmission dispute search for common ground on program carriage terms. The pact between Cablevision and Fox ended a standoff that began on October 16 and that affected Fox-owned broadcast television stations WNYW in New York and WTXF in Philadelphia, MyNetwork TV affiliate WWOR in Secaucus, New Jersey, and cable channels Fox Deportes, Fox Business Network, and Nat Geo Wild. Although terms were not disclosed, Cablevision emphasized it was not happy with the deal. Asserting that “Cablevision conceded because it does not think its customers should any longer be denied the programs they wish to see,” a spokesman lamented that, “in the absence of any meaningful action from the FCC, Cablevision has agreed to pay Fox an unfair price for multiple channels of its programming, including many in which our customers have little or no interest.” In a letter delivered last Friday to Senate Communications Subcommittee Chairman John Kerry (D-MA) and to subcommittee member Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ), FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski admitted that “the FCC has very few tools with which to protect consumers’ interests in the retransmission consent process,” as he pleaded for Congress “to revisit the current retransmission law.” Commenting on Genachowski’s letter, Kerry—who circulated a draft bill last month that would require continuation of program carriage past contract expiration until the FCC determines whether parties are negotiating in good faith—said, “it’s incumbent upon those of us in public policy to see if there’s a way to . . . avoid the now regularly-scheduled, frequent games of high stakes chicken that leave consumers in the crossfire as collateral damage.” Calling the two-week blackout “completely unacceptable,” Lautenberg agreed: “it is clear that Congress must take new steps to make sure consumers are not used as pawns.”