Ion Media Networks wants legislators to pressure Charter Communications to carry its digital multicast services qubo, an educational kids channel, and Ion Life, a lifestyle channel.
Ion, which is also looking for government help to launch a minority-targeted network in tandem with
, sent letters to over 200 members of Congress, saying that Charter's decision not to carry the channels in Ion markets, and dropping Ion Television carriage outside of Ion's broadcast markets, "deprives your constituents of quality programming that they and their children deserve."
Ion is also calling for hearings on "the need for children's and health and wellness programming," and is calling on the FCC and the Obama administration to adopt policies that spur such carriage.
The letters went to representatives and senators in 27 states where Ion says Charter is not carrying the programming.
Ion owns or operates 60 full-power TV stations, including all 20 of the top 20 markets and 39 of the top 50.
Cable operators are only legally obliged to carry the digital replication of a station's primary signal, though Ion and others pushed the FCC to mandate carriage for other channels broadcasters can program with their digital spectrum.
Charter was preparing a comment at press time.