Congress could require cable operators to offer channels on an a la carte basis

NCOSE Press Statement logo
Press Conference on ‘Cable Choice’                                                                                                                           Organized by Concerned Women for America                                                                                                            Washington, D.C., July, 2005

Comments by Robert Peters, President of Morality in Media

From a Constitutional perspective, it would appear that Congress could require cable operators to offer cable TV channels on an a la carte basis.  I say this for several reasons.

First, a law requiring cable operators to provide channels on an a la carte basis would apply to all channels, irrespective of content; and, generally speaking, government’s power to regulate speech is greater when the regulation is content neutral.

Second, a law requiring cable operators to provide channels on an a la carte basis would not prevent operators from offering a package of channels for a reduced fee.   Subscribers who didn’t want the entire package, however, could subscribe to individual channels for a reasonable price.

Third, if Congress can empower the FCC to ensure that rates for the basic service tier are reasonable, it should also be able to empower the FCC to ensure that fees for individual channels chosen on an a la carte basis are reasonable.

Fourth, if Congress can prevent motion picture film studios from saying to theaters, “If you want to exhibit Lord of the Rings andHarry Potter, you must also exhibit Natural Born Killers and Lolita,” Congress should also be able to prevent cable operators from saying to subscribers, “If you want EWTN and the Family Channel, you must also take Comedy Central and MTV.”

Fifth, if Congress can require cable operators to provide channels for commercial use by content providers unaffiliated with the operators (47 U.S.C. 532) and for public, educational and governmental use (47 U.S.C. 531), Congress should also be able to require operators to provide channels on an a la carte basis.

 

 

 

  Author: Robert Peters   07/01/2005

The Numbers

300+

NCOSE leads the Coalition to End Sexual Exploitation with over 300 member organizations.

100+

The National Center on Sexual Exploitation has had over 100 policy victories since 2010. Each victory promotes human dignity above exploitation.

93

NCOSE’s activism campaigns and victories have made headlines around the globe. Averaging 93 mentions per week by media outlets and shows such as Today, CNN, The New York Times, BBC News, USA Today, Fox News and more.

Previous
Next

Stories

Survivor Lawsuit Against Twitter Moves to Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals

Survivors’ $12.7M Victory Over Explicit Website a Beacon of Hope for Other Survivors

Instagram Makes Positive Safety Changes via Improved Reporting and Direct Message Tools

Sharing experiences may be a restorative and liberating process. This is a place for those who want to express their story.

Support Dignity

There are more ways that you can support dignity today, through an online gift, taking action, or joining our team.