Washington -- Broadcasters should stop blaming the cable
industry and others and accept responsibility for their failures in the transition to
digital television, National Cable Television Association president Robert Sachs said in a
Feb. 28 letter to Federal Communications Commission chairman William Kennard.
Describing a recent broadcast-industry letter to Kennard as
a "tirade" that heaped blame on cable for the slow rollout of digital-TV sets,
Sachs said the TV-station lobby itself has been long on promises but short on performance.
"HDTV [high-definition television] was the
broadcasters' mantra when they were seeking additional free digital spectrum. But we are
not aware of any major commitments on the part of the broadcast industry to use their
digital channels primarily to provide HDTV," Sachs said.
He added that cable was doing its part to hasten the
transition, including work on cable-system/digital-TV-set compatibility specifications. He
said that broadcasters had no reason to expect cable operators to carry both TV stations'
analog and digital signals, causing cable networks to lose carriage or to never gain it.
"It's time for the broadcast industry to stop blaming
others and start taking responsibility, like the cable industry, to provide digital
services that will attract viewers and persuade them to purchase digital receivers,"
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