Senate Commerce To Hear Access Arguments

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Look for Comcast and Time Warner's proposed divvying up of Adelphia to get the spotlight during at least some of the Senate Commerce Committee hearing on programming access Jan. 31.

Among the witnesses invited to attend is Doron Gorshein, CEO of independent programmer, The America Channel. It will be a repeat performance of sorts for Gorshein, who testified in October at a Judiciary Committee hearing on video competition.

Gorshein wants the FCC to put conditions on the Adelphia deal to insure that independents have the ability to compete for shelf space with networks affiliated with big media companies.

He was one of a group of programmers, artists and public-interest groups that last week announced formation of CADCAT (the Competition and Diversity Coalition on the Adelphia Transaction), which is lobbying for access conditions on the merger. Other members include the Center for Creative Voices in Media, satellite companies DIRECTV and EchoStar, Mid-Atlantic Sports Network (MASN), Media Access Project and RCN.

His network, which will celebrate "a nation of powerful personal stories, diverse people and cultures, wide-ranging opinions, and lofty dreams and ambitions," has gotten telco carriage but little traction with cable operators. Gorshein got the idea for the channel after 9/11.

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