Broadcasters look to deal for DTV deadline

November 8, 2004

The NAB, the Association for Maximum Service Television and a group of broadcasters sent a proposal to the FCC recently offering to help the commission come up with a plan to set a hard deadline for a DTV transition.

It would helpful, the broadcasters suggested, if they received cable must-carry for all TV signals before a hard deadline is established under the FCC’s proposed Ferree Plan.

The broadcasters said cable operators should not be able to strip out or degrade any broadcast signals through their systems.

Robert Sachs, president of the National Cable and Telecommunications Association, said was a recycled version of broadcasters’ previous demands. He said that the FCC has held that the Communications Act only entitles broadcast stations to must-carry of a single digital video channel, and the latest FCC filing from broadcasters offers no new legal justification for a reversal of that position.

Sachs also said that the broadcast industry’s submission does nothing to advance the digital TV transition or promote a serious discussion about how to complete the transition.

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