Minority Programmers Fight Á La Carte


A pair of minority programmers are pushing back against an effort by FCC Chairman Kevin Martin and some in Congress to get the cable industry to move to an à la carte model.

Johnathan Rodgers, President and CEO of African American-targeted network TV One, and Michael Schwimmer, CEO of Sí TV, are creating the Alliance for Diversity in Programming. The alliance is billed as an effort to "protect and promote diversity in programming" and oppose à la carte.

Members of the alliance were not identified in the press statement, but BET Chairman Debra Lee said in February that à la carte could "destroy" diversity. The alliance is also billed as "joining forces with civil rights groups." The NAACP earlier this month wrote Martin expressing its opposition to a la carte .

While Martin, Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) and others have pushed for per-channel pricing as a way for parents to control their children's TV diets and the size of their cable bills, the cable industry counters that bundling channels is the economic model that supports cable's diverse programming offerings.