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FCC still backs a la carte

August 26, 2007

Federal Communications Commission chairman Kevin Martin isn't backing down stand for la carte, saying he believed it could benefit, not reduce, diversity. But he did apologised for upsetting civil-rights groups who complained about comments he made last week

Nonethelss he said claims that interest groups weren't independent came from a Center for Public Integrity study. Martin said: “That study concluded: ‘The grassroots opposition to a la carte is actually a highly sophisticated lobby campaign where seemingly disinterested third parties – like nonprofits and legislators – are spreading the anti-a la carte message using minority programming as the key issue. In fact, rather than being disinterested, these third parties have much to gain. The Centre has identified hundreds of thousands of dollars in donations and other benefits showered by cable companies on some of these nonprofits.”

Cable companies and some minority interest groups have said mandatory a la carte will make it more difficult for marginal channels to get carriage.

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