News Corp. Chairman Rupert Murdoch has personified evil big media in the minds of anti-consolidation activists and small media companies. Now those same critics say a practice in place at News Corp., albeit by government order, is one possible remedy to industry concentration.

Two years after the Federal Communications Commission approved News Corp.’s $6.6 billion acquisition of DirecTV, small rural cable owners contend that a concession the agency required in approving the deal could help small cable operators and TV stations wrestle programming contracts from other giant content producers.

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