NAB Slams Cable Programmers Over Carriage Suit
National Association of Broadcasters Claims Suit Threatens DTV Conversion
By John Eggerton -- Broadcasting & Cable, 2/4/2008 10:11:00 AM
The National Association of Broadcasters took aim at C-SPAN, Discovery Communications and others for filing suit against the Federal Communications Commission's new "viewability" order requiring cable operators to carry must-carry TV stations in analog and digital if necessary to give all of their customers viewable signals after the transition to digital.
"Today's lawsuit by a handful of self-serving pay TV programmers represents yet another attempt by cable interests to block a successful digital-television transition," NAB spokesman Dennis Wharton said. "By reneging on the NCTA [National Cable & Telecommunications Association] commitment to preserve cable carriage of local broadcast stations to all cable customers after February 2009, these programmers threaten to block consumer access to scores of foreign-language and religious TV stations all over America."
C-SPAN, Discovery and four other cable programmers sued the FCC over the decision, saying that the commission over stepped its authority and, even if it hadn't, that the decision violated their rights.
My question to the NAB is....If broadcasters of all persuasions are being forced to broadcast in digital, why are cable operators not being forced to provide digital receivers and digital capability? This seems like a reprieve and cost offset for the cable industry that the rest of us, religious broadcasters included, have had to pony up millions of dollars to comply with.
mcengineer - 2/5/2008 9:50:00 AM EST
If your beef is really about protecting foreign language and religious over the air content, I'm sure Discovery and CSpan would quickly agree to dropping their case if the only digital and analog stations granted dual carriage were in those 2 categories.
Your protest appears disingenuous, sir. Bad form!
network - 2/5/2008 8:04:00 AM EST
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