Cable Also Fights DTV Switch PSAs

Concurring with their DBS competitors on the issue, the cable business also is resisting proposals floated at the Federal Communications Commission that would mandate MSOs and other video providers to deliver PSAs on the digital TV transition.

In its FCC comments on the matter, the National Cable and Telecommunications Association said cable has in place a $200 million consumer education and public service campaign to inform subscribers and non-cable consumers about the transition to digital TV. However, "the commission nonetheless seeks to impose further rules targeting people with sets connected to cable, a population that will largely need to take no action and who are already receiving extensive voluntary public service announcements from cable operators, programmers and other media," the group said in its filing.

NCTA said the commission should give cable operators the flexibility to design messages focused on the digital TV switch that most effectively meet the needs of their customers.

"Cable will continue to take steps to promote the transition, including PSAs and other initiatives through the time of the transition, educate and train its workforce to manage consumer questions, and partner with government, industry and consumer groups to spread the word about the transition," NCTA said in its comments.

DBS providers also are fighting the mandated PSA proposal at the FCC.