WASHINGTON, DC – - Last night, the FCC issued a ruling ensuring that analog cable subscribers be able to receive programming from broadcast must-carry stations after the transition to digital television. Cable companies that have analog subscribers will be required to either down-convert a must-carry station's digital signals to analog for their analog subscribers, or provide equipment so their subscribers can receive digital signals.
The FCC ruling also prohibits "material degradation" by cable operators in the carriage of high-definition broadcast TV signals.
The following statement can be attributed to NAB Executive Vice President Dennis Wharton:
"Yesterday’s ruling is an important step in protecting analog cable subscribers from losing access to some of the most diverse programming on television, including religious and Spanish-language programming. NAB applauds the FCC for crafting a solution that prevents cable gatekeepers from discriminating against niche and minority TV stations that play a vital role in the fabric of American society."
"We also salute the FCC for protecting consumers against material degradation by cable operators. For over a decade, broadcasters have embarked on a monumental effort to bring Americans the most pristine television pictures ever witnessed by the human eye. Yesterday's FCC rulings ensure that cable operators not be allowed to thwart that mission."
The National Association of Broadcasters is a trade association that advocates on behalf of more than 8,300 free, local radio and television stations and also broadcast networks before Congress, the Federal Communications Commission and the Courts. Information about NAB can be found at www.nab.org.