PTC, CWA: Family Tier Is Insufficient


If the cable industry thought it could appease the primary anti-indecency lobby with its announcement of family-friendly tiers--certainly Senate Commerce Committee Chairman Ted Stevens (R-Alaska) was hopeful that was the case--it was wrong.

The Parent's Television Council (PTC), whose members have filed a large portion of all the indecency complaints at the FCC, will join with Concerned Women of America (CWA) Thursday in a conference call press conference declaring that the announced tiers aren't sufficient and that they will join to push for full-blown cable a la carte.

Following the Senate Commerce Committee's indecency hearing Monday, Stevens said of the tiers: "[I]t should be able to meet the demands that were made of use by the family-based organizations."

But after that same hearing, which was a follow-up to an earlier one attended by Brent Bozell, the PTC president said that the tiers were a "red herring."

“The only model Congress should consider and the cable industry should provide is an a la carte cable choice model," Bozell said in a statement, "giving consumers the ability to choose and pay for the programs they want, and opt-out of what they don’t. Anything less is unacceptable.”

Together, CWA and PTC comprise some 1.5 million members (PTC says its rolls top a million and CWA pegs its head count at 500,000).

More receptive to the tiering plan were Jerry Fallwell's Moral Majority and the Faith and Family Values Coaltion, both priased the tier, but both also oppose a la carte cable, fearing it could push religious channels off the dial.