Advocacy groups oppose digital multicast must-carry

A collection of advocacy groups sent a letter June 8 to the FCC expressing “strong opposition” to the extension of cable must-carry rules to include digital multicast broadcast channels.

The letter, signed by seven special interest groups, including the Americans for Tax Reform American Conservative Union and Competitive Enterprise Institute National Taxpayers Union, contended that such rules “would impose what is an unreasonable and likely unconstitutional burden on cable operators.”

According to the letter, a digital multicast must carry mandate “could increase the amount of property seized from cable providers by six times or more, with no just compensation from broadcasters.” The letter called that a “likely violation” of the Constitution.

The letter also claimed that mandating multicast must carry might impede cable’s rollout of other services, such as high definition.

The letter was signed by:

· Grover Norquist and David Keene, Americans for Tax Reform American Conservative Union;

· Fred Smith and Kristina Rassmussen, Competitive Enterprise Institute National Taxpayers Union;

· Scott LaGanga and Tom Readmond, Property Rights Alliance Media Freedom Project;

· Michelle Korsmo and Geoffrey Segal, Americans for Prosperity Reason Foundation;

· Jim Martin and Chuck Muth, 60 Plus Citizen Outreach;

· Jeff Mazzella and Jason Wright, Center for Individual Freedom Institute for Liberty; and

· Daniel Clifton and Karen Kerrigan, American Shareholders Association Small Business Entrepreneurship Council.