NCTA: Groups `disparage' ops' honesty


Consumer groups are exploiting corporate scandals to bolster arguments for
tighter media-industry ownership caps, the National Cable &
Telecommunications Association said Thursday.

The NCTA is urging the Federal Communications Commission to reject reforms sought
by the Consumer Federation of America and others that would change the yardstick used to
measure a cable operator's audience reach and restrict opportunities for limited
partnership investments.

Specifically, the NCTA opposes consumer groups' call for ownership limits based
on the percentage of homes passed by a cable operator rather than share of
pay TV subscribers.

also criticized their proposal to eliminate rules allowing companies to keep
ownership tallies low by insulating directors, limited partners and other officers
who own other cable operators from programming decisions.

The consumer groups contended that companies will supply misleading

'These arguments, which disparage the integrity of all
cable operators, are obviously intended to further consumer groups' primary
objective: to impose the lowest possible cap on ownership,' the NCTA