FCC Chairman Kevin Martin used a just-released poll from the Parents Television Council to buttress his call a la carte cable programming and the FCC's criticisms of the V-Chip.
In a statement released by the chairman's office late Thursday, Martin said:
"I have long encouraged industry to give consumers greater choice and control over the content that comes into their homes." That has included calling on the cable industry to provide a la carte programming and family tiers. Several cable operators have offered the latter, though the industry balks at the former as an unworkable business model that would adversely impact program diversity.
"The results of the Zogby poll," said Martin, "demonstrates that over 80% of people do not want to be 'required to pay for the channels [they] don't want just to get access to programming [they] do want,'" he said.
"In addition, the Zogby research confirms that while it may be a potentially useful tool, the V-chip alone is insufficient," he said.
In defending its Janet Jackson ruling to the courts, the FCC has taken aim at the V-chip, saying it is not an effective content controller because the ratings are inconsistent, often inaccurate and would not have even applied in the case of the Super Bowl becuase sports are unrated.
The FCC is preparing a report to Congress on TV violence that is said to suggest that a la carte might be one way of giving more parent's control over that content as well.