Gimme That Old-Time Channel Lineup


Leading TV ministers said Wednesday that allowing cable systems to offer subscribers buffet-style cable channels would be a "frontal attack on religious broadcasting."

"Though well-intentioned, the fact is that a la carte would threaten the very existence of religious broadcasting, and the vital ministry conducted over the television airwaves," said Jerry Falwell, President of the Old Time Gospel Hour.

The minister group, which also included CBN Founder Pat Robertson and Trinity's Paul Crouch, pointed out in comments filed with the FCC that the GAO has already weighed in saying a la carte cable could put some smaller nets, including minority targeted and religious, out of business.

The FCC is scheduled to report to Congress Thursday on whether it thinks a la carte is a good idea.

The issue gained new impetus after the FCC's crackdown on indecency. Various legislators asked for FCC input, suggesting it as a way both to lower cable bills and to give viewers greater control over channel lineups given that most American's now have some form of subscription service.