Must-Carry Fights Smut-Carry, Says NRB

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Religious Broadcasters have come up with a new argument for requiring cable to carry all of the channels broadcasters can fit into their digital spectrum allotment: At least they won't be cable channels.

"The cultural and moral dimensions of legislation are sometimes obscured by a debate that focuses solely on economics," said a group led by National Religious Broadcasters President Frank Wright.

That dimension, they argued in a letter to House Speaker Dennis Hastert, is that their stations could be bumped in favor of cable channels that "will not be subject to federal indecency standards."

"Without this action on the part of the Congress," they said, "we will continue to see what some members of the FCC have called “the headlong race to the bottom” in television programming.

The FCC member was Democrat Michael Copps, who coincidentally is scheduled to talk about the alleged connection between Big Media and indecency at a press conference in Washington Thursday.

Led by the NAB, broadcasters are putting on a full Hill press for so-called multicast must-carry rights.
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The House and Senate plan to draft legislation this month dealing with the DTV transition.

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