NAB Wants FCC to Reconsider Must-Carry

Apr 20, 2005  •  Post A Comment

The National Association of Broadcasters plans to ask the Federal Communications Commission to reconsider a decision rejecting an NAB proposal to require cable operators to carry all of the programming streams on broadcasters’ digital channels, Eddie Fritts, NAB president and CEO, said Wednesday.

The FCC voted 4-1 in February to reject the NAB’s request. But since that time, Kevin Martin, the sole dissenter in the vote, has been promoted to the agency’s chairmanship. “We’re asking the FCC to reconsider their reconsideration,” Mr. Fritts said.

At a wrap-up press conference for the NAB’s convention in Las Vegas, Mr. Fritts also told reporters that he believes the multicasting issue is apt to be included in legislation on the broadcasting industry’s conversion to digital this year.

Also at the press conference, Mr. Fritts said the NAB’s board had hired the executive recruiting firm of Spencer Stuart to find candidates to succeed him. In addition, he said a long-pending effort by NAB to establish voluntary programming guidelines for the industry is unlikely to derail pending indecency legislation. But he also said indecency legislation is likely to be challenged in the courts on First Amendment grounds.