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Must-carry becoming dual-carriage?

Thu, 01/04/2001 - 7:00pm
Karen Kessler-Tanaka

The Federal Communications Commission could vote on an issue next week that was supposedly up for debate in the distant future.

The FCC may vote on an agenda item that would require cable operators to carry analog and digital TV signals simultaneously. The cable industry is criticizing such a requirement as a free ride for all commercial TV stations. Broadcasters say dual-carriage is necessary to facilitate its move to digital and free up the analog spectrum for government auction.

According to an FCC source close to the proceedings, the more likely outcome next week would be resolving the cable-carriage rights of TV stations that send out only digital signals and the extent to which cable operators are required to carry more than a digital-TV signal's primary video channel.

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