NAB defends against NCTA attack


The National Association of Broadcasters is taking aim at the cable
industry's latest volley against digital must-carry rules, which would obligate
system operators to carry a broadcast station's entire digital-television signal
rather than just its main programming option.

The cable-industry argument was prepared last month by First Amendment expert
Laurence Tribe on behalf of the National Cable & Telecommunications

All of Tribe's arguments "are materially the same" as one cable operators
espoused in their losing fight against analog carriage rules that obligated
cable systems to carry every broadcast channel in their local markets, the NAB
said. "Having been thoroughly rejected by the Supreme Court ... those arguments
should have no claim to the commission's attention now."

Tribe's analysis concluded that requiring carriage of more than a
broadcaster's main digital programming stream would violate cable systems' First
Amendment and property rights.