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Broadcasters: DTV plan must include TV-station carriage

A group of broadcasters urged Federal Communications Commission chairman
Michael Powell to put more pressure on cable and satellite companies to carry TV
stations' digital signals.

The broadcasters complained that allowing cable companies to rely on pay TV
programming was a 'major shortcoming' of Powell's recent plan to spur the
digital-television transition.

'We are counting on you and our partners in other industries to ensure that
consumers have convenient and ubiquitous access to broadcasters' DTV offerings,'
wrote chiefs of several companies, including LIN Television Corp., Benedek Broadcasting Corp. and Raycom Media, as well as
two educational- and public-TV organizations, in an April 18 letter to Powell.

The broadcasters pledged to cooperate with Powell's 'bold
plan' by carrying digital programming, but they called on him to include
broadcast programming in cable's benchmarks.

'We need assurances that these enhanced services ultimately will reach the
public,' the letter said.