Tate Pushes Cable on À La Carte


New Republican FCC Commissioner Deborah Taylor Tate says she has had meetings with cable operators recently about à la carte.

She wrote to cable companies to let them know she supported their self-regulatory efforts so far, which include family-friendly tiers and talk of à la carte by a few, but says the industry has not gone far enough.

Cable is under pressure to unbundle its channels to give viewers more control over content and, some in Congress argue, lower cable rates.

Tate said she had talked with friends who complain about the price of their cable bill when they have to block half the channels.

She did say that if IPTV takes root, it might not be a problem given how much parental control that allows.

On another issue, Tate said she had been meeting with broadcasters about what positive steps they could take to combat childhood obesity. She repeatedly struck the theme of the industry's power to do good, saying she thought broadcaster efforts were responsible for helping raise immunization rates in her home state of Tennessee, and had come up with an impressive campaign to combate drug abuse.

Tate was speaking at a National Association of Broadcasters State Leadership Conference in Washington. While she asked the crowd to feel free to talk with her and declared herself available and eager to discuss  the issues, she refused to clarify her remarks or take any follow-up questions from reporters.