Consumer Union Leads Group Criticism of Family-Friendly Tiers

Jan 18, 2006  •  Post A Comment

A coalition of watchdog groups led by Consumers Union on Wednesday panned the cable TV industry’s new family-friendly programming tiers, saying they fail to provide enough programming choices. The members of the coalition, which also include the Consumer Federation of America and Free Press, said a la carte-giving consumers the right to choose and pay for only the programming they want-would be a better way to allow consumers to control what programming comes into their homes. In a statement, the groups also urged the Senate Commerce Committee, which is holding indecency hearings Thursday, to address contractual provisions in programming contracts that currently bar cable operators from offering programming a la carte. “The programming lineup of family choice tiers unveiled to date offer only limited channels and may discourage families that want greater control from subscribing to the tier because it lacks other general-interest programming they may desire,” the coalition said.