CBS backs away from DTV warning

CBS network parent Viacom has backed down from a threat to pull its next season digital programming lineup unless the FCC adopts a “broadcast flag” system to prevent digital program copying.

Last December, Viacom threatened to pull its digital offerings unless the broadcast flag was adopted and enforced by the FCC.

“CBS will reconsider its deadline and continue to provide a full schedule of high definition entertainment and sports programming to our viewers this upcoming television season,” the network said in a statement. We are “hopeful that the FCC will work to complete the broadcast flag proceeding by this fall, and certainly no later than the end of this calendar year,” the company said.

The reversal came after Rep. Billy Tauzin, chairman of the U.S. House Energy and Commerce Committee, and Rep. Fred Upton who chairs the panels communications and Internet subcommittee, asked the network to reconsider. Tauzin plans to introduce legislation in the next two months to address issues complicating the DTV transition.

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