NCTA, APTS Renew Digital Carriage Deal

The Association of Pubic Television Stations and PBS said Sunday (Feb. 21) that they have renewed their 2005 digital cable carriage deal with the National Cable & Telecommunications Association.

The agreement, a renewal of their 2005 pact, means that noncommercial TV stations' digital must-carry channels will continue to be carried by systems serving a majority of cable subs.

Cable operators' must-carry obligations don't extend to multicast channels, which is why noncoms had to negotiate carriage on those cable systems rather than simply electing carriage, as they can with the noncoms' primary signals.

"The renewal agreement is a recognition of the quality programming and public service that public television provides to the American people and benefits the millions of consumers who receive this programming over cable." said the three associations in a joint release. "We are pleased to continue this great partnership."

Under the agreement, cable operators offer up to four free noncommercial multicast channels for each must-carry station in a market.

John Eggerton

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.