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Cablevision to Hike Rates

Bethpage, N.Y.— Is Cablevision service in the New York Metropolitan area worth a few bucks more? Cablevision hopes so. It's hiking prices, on average, 5.26% for its 3.4 million subscribers in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut.

The new prices kick in for most in January or February. It's softening the blow by adding new channels, different ones in different places. Among the additions: The Travel Channel, Turner Classic Movies, Game Show Network, Speed Network, MTV2, Mun2, Animal Planet and The Soap Network.

McCain Aims to Reform, Again

Washington— New Senate Commerce Committee Chairman John McCain (R-Ariz.), making good on a promise to put campaign-finance reform on his 2003 agenda, says his committee will assess whether broadcasters are meeting their public-interest obligations.

The panel will check to see whether stations offered the lowest unit-rate charge in the 2002 elections and will consider legislation to provide free airtime to political candidates. Also on his docket are media consolidation, cable rates, the transition to digital television, broadband deployment, the financial crisis in the industry and spectrum policies.

San Antonio Stations Air 'Graphic' Tape

San Antonio— Two TV stations last week aired portions of a videotape, released by police, that had helped incriminate former KSAT-TV weekend anchorman Gerry Grant, on possession of child-pornography charges. One of the stations was KSAT-TV itself. The other was KENS-TV. A third station, WAOI-TV, chose not to air the tapes, saying that the images are "very graphic" and of little news value. Grant pleaded guilty in August and is serving a five-year sentence.