Few may expect the new a-la-carte legislation introduced Thurs to go anywhere—but supporters, including FCC chmn Kevin Martin, are making a full-steam-ahead run at it anyway. In re-introducing the Family Choice Act, Rep Dan Lipinski (D-IL) said he wants to protect kids from bad stuff "without limiting anyone’s choices, and without imposing a single, one-size-fits-all mandate on providers." Instead, his proposal would let distributors choose which mandate they would like to endure: 1) apply broadcast indecency standards to programming between 6 am-10 pm; 2) allow subs to choose a "real family tier of programming" (defined as all expanded basic channels except TV-M or TV-14 fare shown between 6am and 10pm); 3) offer opt-out a-la-carte in which subs would get a credit on their bill for any channels they block. A-la-carte fan Martin, meanwhile, appeared at the Thurs press conference on Capitol Hill to point out that while cable/satellite providers provide lots of family-friendly fare, they also offer "some of the coarsest programming ever produced." He even pulled out the Rising-Cable-Rates card: "In the last ten years, cable prices have doubled," Martin said. "A la carte pricing not only gives parents greater control over the content available to their families, but also has the potential to lower prices for consumers across the board." The cable industry, of course, believes the exact opposite. "Overwhelming evidence shows that a mandated a la carte regime would result in higher prices and less diversity in programming," said an NCTA spokesman, pointing out the "wide variety of parental controls" already available to consumers. Among those joining the NCTA in opposing the bill were the League of United Latin American Citizens and the National Congress of Black Women. Meanwhile, Inspiration Nets evp, sales and marketing Rod Tapp called the bill "a recipe for disaster."

The Daily


FCC Chair Tees Up Apartment Broadband Competition Item

Cable has to contend with FCC Chair Jessica Rosenworcel circulating a proposal that would prevent providers from entering into exclusive revenue sharing agreements with building owners as part of changes aimed at bringing competition to MTEs.

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