FCC's Martin Likes Sound of Karmazin Rebate Proposal - Broadcasting & Cable

FCC's Martin Likes Sound of Karmazin Rebate Proposal

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Martin Likes Sound of Karmazin Rebate Proposal

FCC Chairman Kevin Martin said Wednesday that Mel Karmazin's proposal to reimburse subscribers for blocked adult channels "may be a good idea" with the caveat that he has yet to study it.

Talking to reporters Wednesday, and saying that the merger applications had just been filed, Martin said it was too early to comment directly to the proposal that subscribers would be given rebates for adult channels they chose to block, but he said that it sounded, in general "like a good idea."

The proposal seemed to dovetail neatly with his a la carte model of parental control

He did say that he had been encouraging the cable industry to give parents more control "for quite some time" with some form of a la carte programming. "One of the options I have encouraged is allowing parents to block channels and also [have] the companies reimburse the price they are charging consumers for the price of content they don't want. I think that a block and reimburse mechanism may be a good idea."

Martin's office e-mailed B&C the following language from the 1997 order establishing satellite radio: "Transfers. We note that DARS licensees, like other satellite licensees, will be subject to rule 25.118, which prohibits transfers or assignments of licenses except upon application to the Commission and upon a finding by the Commission that the public interest would be served thereby. Even after DARS licenses are granted, one licensee will not be permitted to acquire control of the other remaining satellite DARS license. This prohibition on transfer of control will help assure sufficient continuing competition in the provision of satellite DARS service."

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