FCC is Broken, Cable Group Chief Argues

Says government plays favorites, backs policies dooming his industry
By Wesley Oliver,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 14, 2007 11:44 PM CST
Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman Kevin Martin speaks during a hearing on localism, Wednesday, Oct. 31, 2007, at the FCC headquarters in Washington. Federal regulators on Wednesday, Oct....   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – The head of a cable television trade group bashed the head of the FCC today, accusing him of backing policies that “hurt the (cable) industry.” The issue causing most of the fuss, Broadcasting and Cable reports, is the proposed to mandate an a la carte pricing system, which would allow consumers to choose and pay individually for which channels they want.

In a conference call with reporters, Kyle McSlarrow also alleged that FCC chief Kevin Martin favors telecom companies over cable operators, and slammed the commission for leaking proposals to reporters before discussing with industry. The FCC denied the allegations, but noted consumer cable costs doubled from 1995-2005, when other industries saw price cuts. “The cable industry needs more competition,” a spokeswoman concluded.