Activists Back Martin Proposal To Re-Cap Cable


The FCC got a shout-out Wednesday from media activists for FCC Chairman Kevin Martin's proposal to reimpose a 30% cap on one cable owners share of pay subscribers nationwide.

The cap was thrown back to the FCC for better justification by a federal court, and the cable industry says there is even less justification now in an era of increased competition from telephone, satellite and the Internet.

In a letter filed at the commission Wednesday on behalf of more than a dozen groups*, Media Access Project said it was responding to cable's argument, countering that cable does not face effective competition and applauding the return of the cap. It added a pitch for regional ownership limits as well as national ones.

"It is disappointing, albeit not surprising, that you and your colleagues [at the FCC] have been attacked for
doing nothing more than enforcing a clear legislative command," the letter said. "The fact is that there is powerful
evidence to support reaffirmation of the 30% limit originally adopted more than six years ago. So,
too, is there strong reason for the Commission to adopt regional ownership limits."