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Sen. Stevens Expected to Appear at NCTA Show

Mar 11, 2005  •  Post A Comment

Sen. Ted Stevens, R-Alaska, will bring his campaign to clean up cable TV programming into the belly of the beast, when he makes a personal appearance at the National Cable & Telecommunications Association’s national show in San Francisco April 3-5. But as of late Friday afternoon, it was unclear exactly when the senator, who made waves recently by vowing to extend broadcast indecency regulations to cable’s programming, will be at the convention or whether he’ll even make an official public address at the session. “He is coming,” said Kyle McSlarrow, NCTA president and CEO at a pre-convention briefing for reporters in Washington. “The question is when and how long.” Mr. McSlarrow also said that Sen. Stevens had conveyed his regulatory intentions to NCTA officials, prompting the association to launch a “serious effort to educate Congress” about cable’s efforts to empower subscribers to block offensive programming without the need for additional regulation. “We think blocking technologies are effective,” Mr. McSlarrow said.

During a press conference Friday, Sen. Stevens also said the cable industry might be able to pre-empt the case for basic-tier indecency regulation by creating truly family-friendly programming tiers. “We ought to find some way to say, ‘Here is a block of channels … that is clear of stuff you don’t want your children to see,'” Sen. Stevens said. “I invite cable to come in and talk.”