On March 2, 2010, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) adopted a Second Report and Order permitting MVPDs to enter into bulk billing and exclusive marketing arrangements with Multiple Dwelling Units (MDUs). A bulk billing arrangement is one in which an MVPD agrees to connect video service to every unit of the MDU—at a rate that is often lower than the retail rate—and the MDU owner pays a monthly fee to the MVPD for the service, whether or not the residents actually subscribe to the service. Exclusive marketing arrangements are agreements between an MVPD and an MDU under which an MDU grants an MVPD the exclusive right to certain means of marketing to residents in that MDU—such as advertising in common areas or placing of brochures in MDU welcome packets.
The Second Report and Order expanded on the Commission's earlier Report and Order that concluded that Section 628(b) of the Communications Act (the "program access" provision) gave the agency the authority to prohibit exclusive service agreements between MDUs and MVPDs. In the Second Report and Order, the FCC also confirmed that the prohibition applies to common carriers and their affiliates that provide video programming, even if they do not use the public rights-of-way.
A copy of the Second Report and Order is available here