Programmers may push prime-time carve-out - Broadcasting & Cable

Programmers may push prime-time carve-out

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Independent programming producers didn't make any headway with the Federal
Communications Commission, but this week they will push Congress to set aside
time for independently produced shows in network prime time.

The Writers Guild of America is mulling an amendment that would require that 50%
of prime time be reserved for programming created outside of networks' own studios.

If the guild goes that route, Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) would be the likely
sponsor.

They hope to make the provision part of legislation to reverse some of the
FCC's broadcast-ownership rule changes.

The Senate Commerce Committee will vote on the bill June 19.

Another option is a more general provision, possibly sponsored by committee
chairman John McCain (R-Ariz.), that would order the FCC to launch a proceeding exploring
the need for a carve-out.

The order officially spelling out the FCC's new ownership rules is said to
formally reject the creative community's previous request for a 25%
carve-out.

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