Senate Firms Up Decency Forum Plans

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ABC and Clear Channel will send individual representatives to a day-long Senate Communications Committee day-long forum on "Decency" Nov. 29 on Capitol Hill.

The other networks will also be represented in the form of TV Watch, a net-backed online effort to encourage viewer use of the ratings v-chip rather than government content control.

That is according to an attendees list released at press time, though other participants may be added.

The committee is working on a bill to boost indecency fines and the FCC's enforcement powers, as did a House indecency bill that has already been passed. The Senate Commerce Committee also plans to hold hearings on "decency" and Internet porn Jan. 19.

Committee Chairman Ted Stevens (R-Alaska), has encouraged the industry to police itself. He warned the cable industry last spring that he wanted to level the playing field by regulating indecency on pay as well as broadcast. But soon after, he softened that stance and began talking more about tiering of cable services and self-regulation.

The forum, which is open to the public, will be from 9:30 to 5 in the Dirksen Building.

Currently scheduled to attend, in addition to ABC and Clear Channel, are representatives of: the American Cable Association; Christian Coalition of America; Creative Coalition; Clear Channel; Cellular Telecommunications & Internet Association (CTIA); Federal Communications Commission; Motion Picture Association of America; National Association of Broadcasters; National Cable Telecommunications Association; PSV Ratings; Trinity Broadcasting Network; TV Watch; and XM Satellite Radio.

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