SkyFILES: Four Items

Four items to think about this Friday:

Carry-One, Carry-All HD - At the Federal Communications Commission, the nation's two DBS platforms have offered a plan to carry local high-def signals in the markets where they deliver local HD broadcast stations through a steady, phased-in four-year process. It's a good approach that provides a roadmap for carriage of local HD signals within a reasonable timeframe. The FCC would be making a mistake not to endorse the proposal. If commissioners adopt anything short of the DBS suggestions, then everyone will know the FCC really is a misguided and directionless agency.

A la Carte in the Shadows? There's no official talk - or even solid rumors - that yet another a la carte showdown is lurking in the shadows. Nonetheless, cable interests fear that FCC Chairman Kevin Martin is not letting go of his push for program choice options for consumers. As industry folks have said before, this nagging issue is not going away for a long time.

It Could Be Worse - Just imagine if a la carte supporter and Republican Presidential candidate John McCain is elected president. Would we be stuck with Martin - and his a la carte pushes and the rest of the associated madness - long after January 2009?

Premium Wins - Once again, premium programmers have found themselves on top of the video content business. This weekend, HBO debuts its "John Adams" miniseries. And the second season of "The Tudors" begins March 30. This is compelling stuff that cannot be missed by viewers.