NAB ponders must carry about-face

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The NAB board of directors is considering a proposal to officially stop
pushing for dual carriage of both broadcasters' digital and analog signals, and
ask the government to require cable operators to carry broadcasters' entire six
megahertz digital channel, including high-definition channels, multicast
channels and datacasting.

The idea is still on the drawing board, sources say, and it's unclear how cable operators would be required to get broadcasters' digital signal to all their subscribers. One idea is to require cable operators to deliver broadcasters' full digital signal to digital subscribers and downconvert at the cable headend the digital signal to analog for analog subscribers.

How cable operators accomplished that feat would be up to them, said one broadcast executive.

Meanwhile, NAB board members and staff reiterate they are still actively lobbying for dual carriage and have not given up that fight. - Paige Albiniak

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