Advanced Television

Channels sue on FCC must carry

February 6, 2008

Six cable programmers filed suit against what they called the Federal Communications Commission’s new “dual-must-carry” rule, saying that the FCC doesn’t have the authority and that the rule violates their First Amendment rights.

C-SPAN, Discovery, The Weather Channel, TV One, A&E Television Networks and Scripps Networks argued that the rule — which requires cable to deliver a so-called viewable signal to its subscribers after the switch to digital — means duplicating a digital signal in analogue to their subscribers who have not switched to digital cable.

The cable networks said making “almost all” cable operators carry two versions of the same station forces channels like C-SPAN and the others off the air, violating their First Amendment rights. They also argued that the FCC exceeded its congressional authority to regulate programmers.

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