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Senate Bill Requires Family-Friendly Tiers

Apr 28, 2005  •  Post A Comment

Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., on Thursday introduced legislation that would require cable and satellite TV operators to offer a family-friendly programming tier.

“Parents who do not want their children to watch violent, obscene or sexually explicit programming should be able to choose a tier of programming appropriate for them,” Sen. Wyden said in a statement. He said his legislation would guarantee that parents have “adequate viewing options for their kids without imposing federal regulation on all paid content provided on satellite and cable.”

In an effort to pre-empt legislation that would crack down on off-color cable TV programming, the National Cable & Telecommunications Association on Wednesday unveiled a campaign to educate consumers about existing technology they can use to block objectionable programming.

In response to Sen. Wyden’s bill, Brian Dietz, an NCTA spokesman, pointed to a Federal Communications Commission study last year that concluded that retiering would result in higher prices and fewer program options for viewers. “We believe providing parents with the easy-to-use tools to manage their home viewing is a much better alternative than government regulation,” Mr. Dietz said.