Cable Nets Urge Rejection of Must-Carry Rules

Sep 12, 2005  •  Post A Comment

More than 90 cable TV networks sent a letter Monday urging federal lawmakers to reject an effort by broadcasters to win legislation requiring operators to carry all of the free programming streams TV stations multicast on their new digital television channels. “We compete vigorously for distribution on cable and satellite systems on the basis of the quality of programming and its value to consumers,” said the network coalition, which includes CNN, Court TV and HBO. “Broadcasters already have a government-granted competitive advantage over all other programmers-they have guaranteed cable carriage (must-carry) of their primary video signal,” the networks said. “A vast expansion of broadcasters’ must-carry rights would undermine our ability to compete in the marketplace, causing irreparable harm to programming diversity and to consumers, and violating fundamental First Amendment protections.”