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Barrett Suggests Mutual Assistance for Broadcasters, Telcos

Oct 25, 2005  •  Post A Comment

If the telephone industry helps broadcasters win federal legislation requiring cable TV operators to carry all programming streams multicast on digital TV channels, broadcasters will help phone companies get a law clearing them of the obligation to obtain local cable TV franchises when offering television services to their customers.

That appeared to be the pitch of David Barrett, president and CEO of Hearst-Argyle Television, in his keynote speech Tuesday to the U.S. Telecom Association in Las Vegas.

“If telephone companies can help us secure multicast carriage for all television viewers, you will find broadcasters across America welcoming your arrival to the program distribution market,” Mr. Barrett said. “Your goals in reforming the franchising process are in many ways similar to our goals in promoting multicast carriage: more choices for consumers. Certainly the notion that our laws should encourage new entrants into the marketplace has been a core principle of our nation’s telecommunications policy.”