08.13.2007 03:08 PM
Public television and American Cable Association agree on digital carriage

Public television broadcasters finalized a digital cable carriage agreement with the more than 1000 members of the American Cable Association (ACA) last week.

The deal, brokered by the Association of Public Television Stations (APTS) and PBS, is expected to be ratified and adopted by members of the ACA and Public Television stations by mid-October. It covers 8 million subscribers.

The 10-year agreement would apply to participating ACA members’ HD cable systems and include DTV carriage commitments of public television stations both pre- and post-digital TV transition. Under the agreement, cable operators would carry the primary signal of the DTV station on the lowest priced tier, while multicast channels would be carried on the tier where other multicast channels are carried.

The deal is similar to one signed with the National Cable and Telecommunications Association two years ago. The two deals assure that cable TV subscribers will have access to PBS digital offerings after analog television shuts down on Feb. 18, 2009.

The agreement, said FCC commissioner Jonathan Adelstein, is “a win-win for cable operators, public broadcasters and, most importantly, the viewing public.”

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