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Minority Media Group Oppposes A La Carte

The head of the Minority Media & Telecommunications Council (MMTC) has weighed in against the Family and Consumer Choice Act, a bill that would require cable to change the way it delivers its programming.

In a letter to House Energy & Commerce Committee Chairman John Dingell (D-Mich.) and ranking member Joe Barton (R-Tex.), David Honig, executive director of the MMTC, which promotes minority ownership of communications companies, said the group opposes "any requirement that cable systems or direct broadcast satellite companies sell channel to subscribers on an a la carte basis."

The bill, introduced last week with a shout-out from a la carte fan FCC Chairman Kevin Martin, would require cable operators to offer a la carte, famly tiers, or accept broadcast-style indecency regulations, all with an eye toward giving viewers more control of their kids viewing, as well as their cable bills.

Some cable companies already offer family tiers, and National Cable & Telecommunications Association (NCTA)  President Kyle McSlarrow has said that technological change and viewer demand are already creating a more on-demand appetite, but the industry still strongly opposes government-mandated a la carte.

Honig says a la carte offerings would "lock out" multicultural channels and "deprive the next generation of viewers of a broad spectrum of programming an opinions," and argument NCTA has also made.