06.21.2007 08:00 AM
Bill could force control of pay-TV content

Two members of the U.S. House of Representatives last week introduced the Family and Consumer Choice Act, a bill that would force pay-TV providers to alter their billing policies and programming lineups.

The bill’s co-sponsors are Reps. Daniel Lipinski, D-IL, and Jeff Fortenberry, R-NE. At a press conference announcing the legislation last week, FCC chairman Kevin Martin joined the two congressmen in support of the legislation, which purports to give families greater protection against “coarse” and “indecent” content. Lipinski introduced a similar bill last year, but it received little support from fellow lawmakers and didn’t get a hearing.

The legislation would compel cable and satellite operators to choose among one of three options. One, they could agree to extend the same rules that apply to the core broadcast channels to the channels in the expanded basic programming tier. That would mean they agree not to air violent or “indecent” programming when children are most likely to be watching. A safe harbor without the restrictions would be set between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m.

The second option would be to expand the so-called family friendly tier of channels to include all the channels in the expanded basic tier minus those that broadcast programming inappropriate for children. These would include the channels airing the most popular news and sports shows, which currently often are excluded from family tiers.

The final option would be for cable operators to offer a la carte programming. If parents didn’t want to receive a specific channel, they would be able to ask their TV provider to block it and would not be charged for it.

The cable industry reacted negatively. The National Cable & Telecommunications Association (NCTA), cable’s lobby organization, said, “overwhelming evidence shows that a mandated a la carte regime would result in higher prices and less diversity in programming, overturning a video marketplace that provides U.S. consumers with the widest variety of programming found anywhere in the world.”

Post New Comment
If you are already a member, or would like to receive email alerts as new comments are
made, please login or register.

Enter the code shown above:

(Note: If you cannot read the numbers in the above
image, reload the page to generate a new one.)

No Comments Found

Tuesday 03:07 PM
WMUR-TV Says FAA Drone Rules Preclude ENG
The FAA’s current rules and proposed ban on flight over people, requirement of visual line of sight and restriction on nighttime flying, effectively prohibit broadcasters from using UAS for newsgathering. ~ WMUR-TV General Manager Jeff Bartlett

Manor Marketing /   Tuesday 10:32 AM
Cobham takes on American Ninja Warrior
Sue Sillitoe, White Noise PR /   Monday 05:38 AM
DPA Microphones Takes On A Downpour at the 2015 BRIT Awards

Featured Articles
Product News
Discover TV Technology