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Johnson Disappointed By TV One's FCC Filing Againt Urban Television

Black Entertainment Television founder Robert Johnson Thursday expressed "disappointment" with a recent TV One Federal Communications Commission filing in opposition of Johnson's bid to launch an upstart, urban-targeted network.

In a letter to TV One chairman Alfred Liggins, Johnson said he was "disappointed and puzzled" as to TV One's Feb. 19 FCC filing that opposes digital must-carry for networks such as Johnson's Urban Television, LLC network. Johnson, along with Ion Media Networks, is petitioning the FCC to grant Urban TV must-carry status under "share time" licenses.

Johnson said that TV One, which is the only minority-owned network currently in the marketplace, made a "strenuous" argument when it launched in 2004 that it should get mandatory carriage on any cable system that served urban markets due to the lack of networks other than BET targeting the African-American community."You felt then that BET should not be the only voice," said Johnson. "Now, in an amazing turn-about of self interest motivated by Comcast, the largest cable company which owns a significant stake in TV One, you argue that TV One should be the only voice."

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