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Free Press Wants More Out of KerryRetrans Bill

Free Press
said Tuesday that Senator John Kerry's retrans reform bill was a good
start, but suggested it wanted to work with him to broaden it.

Kerry wants
to require TV stations to keep signals on during retrans impasses, and
to make the FCC a mediator of disputes, though not outside arbiter.

"We look
forward to continuing to work with Senator Kerry to make the bill
stronger," said Free Press policy advisor Joel Kelsey. whose ultimate
goal appears to be to morph it into an a la carte bill.

For one thing, Free Press wants the fees and costs for each channel disclosed to the public as well as the FCC.

In addition,
said Kelsey, "subscribers should be told what they are paying for each
individual channel, and they should be empowered to choose and pay for
only those channels they want," calling that
lack of choice one of the root causes of carriage disputes that
leave viewers in the dark.