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February 4, 2008
Dennis Wharton
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NAB Statement on Cable's Anti-Consumer DTV Transition Lawsuit

WASHINGTON, DC – NAB Executive Vice President Dennis Wharton issued the following statement in response to a lawsuit filed today by six national cable TV networks, effectively breaking a promise made by their trade association, the National Cable and Telecommunication Association, which ensured analog cable customers would not lose access to free programming provided by niche and minority TV stations after the digital television transition.

"Today's lawsuit by a handful of self-serving pay TV programmers represents yet another attempt by cable interests to block a successful digital television transition. By reneging on the NCTA commitment to preserve cable carriage of local broadcast stations to all cable customers after February 2009, these programmers threaten to block consumer access to scores of foreign language and religious TV stations all over America.

"NAB salutes FCC Chairman Martin and his colleagues for adopting a rule preserving the viewability of diverse local broadcasting outlets, and we will aggressively fight the pay TV programmers' attempt to dictate terms and conditions of the DTV transition."


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