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IFTA Repeats Call for 75% Self-Produced-Programming Cap

The Independent Film and Television Alliance wrote key members of the House Energy & Commerce Committee Tuesday, calling again for a 75% cap on self-produced programming on broadcast and cable networks.

The letter came on the eve of a hearing on media-ownership issues in the committee Wednesday that will host all five Federal Communications Commission members and others.

Independent producers testified at the FCC's public hearings that they were being squeezed out by networks favoring their own content.

“Independent production of television programs has been all but eliminated," they argued in the letter from Jean Prewitt, president and CEO of IFTA. "This means a decline in competition in the marketplace and a decline in programming quality. The ultimate loser in all of this is the American television audience.”

At the moment, FCC chairman Kevin Martin's plan is to close the media-ownership-rule review with only a loosening of the newspaper-broadcast cross-ownership rule and no further deregulation, or, in this case, reregulation. Hill Democrats have other ideas, however, pushing for further inquiry into program diversity and localism, for example.