Split Decision on Cable Carriage

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Broadcasters won one and lost one Tuesday in the ongoing cable-carriage tug-of-war.

The winner was TeleFutura's WAMI-TV Hollywood, Fla. The Federal Communications Commission granted its petition for carriage on Adelphia Communications Corp.'s cable system serving Boca Raton, Boca West and Delray Beach, Fla.

In 1999, the FCC had ordered the operator to carry the station, which it had done until March, when it dropped the signal without explanation, according to WAMI. The agency has ordered Adelphia, which did not oppose the petition, to reinstate the station within 30 days and to explain why it dropped WAMI in violation of the 1999 order.

On the losing side, Time Warner Cable will not have to carry Sunbelt Communications Co.'s KHIZ(TV) Barstow, Calif., on various Los Angeles systems.

The commission pointed out that the station had no history of carriage on the cable systems -- one of the statutory requirements for mandatory carriage -- and had conceded that its grade-B contour did not reach the system’s subscribers.

Another carriage requirement is "whether the TV station provides coverage or other local service to the community." KHIZ offered finance show Money Matters
and weekend horror movie The Macabre Theatre
as examples of such service, plus a community calendar and promises of more local programming to come. The FCC was not persuaded.

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