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Cable Networks Urge Congress to Oppose Program Regulation

Independent cable program networks, including A&E Television Networks, Hallmark Channel and Oxygen Media, sent a letter to members of the Senate Commerce Committee registering their opposition to proposed regulation that would mandate packaging and pricing of cable program services on an "a la carte" or "specialized tiers" basis.

Network executives outlined how a government-mandated change in the fashion in which cable service is delivered could undermine the economic model that has enabled the launch of over 300 cable networks offering diverse and family-oriented programming. They say the result of this model would be consumers having fewer programming choices, but paying more for their monthly cable service because the cable networks' license fees would increase dramatically in order to cover the loss of advertising revenue.

The networks urged members of Congress to oppose proposals that would result in government regulation of cable packaging and pricing.