News

CBS Won't Pull HDTV Programming

5/22/2003 11:48 AM Eastern

Under pressure from Congress, CBS agreed Thursday to continue broadcasting in
HDTV even though the high-resolution digital programming would remain
susceptible to illegal copying and Internet retransmission.

In a prepared statement, CBS said it would not pull the plug on HDTV this
fall, as it threatened to do in a recent Federal Communications Commission
filing related to the agency's ongoing effort to protect HDTV programming from
rampant piracy.

The FCC has yet to decide whether it will impose "broadcast-flag" protections
that would allow broadcast-content owners to block retransmission of their
content over the Internet.

"For the good of the digital transition, and with the hope that the FCC will
indeed act favorably in the broadcast-flag proceedings, CBS will reconsider its
deadline and continue to provide a full schedule of high-definition
entertainment and sports programming to our viewers this upcoming television
season," CBS said in a prepared statement.

The network reacted the same day House Energy and Commerce Committee chairman
Billy Tauzin (R-La.) and Telecommunications and the Internet Subcommittee
chairman Fred Upton (R-Mich.) sent CBS and its corporate parent, Viacom Inc., a
letter urging them to reconsider the threatened HDTV cutoff.

The two lawmakers said they would do "everything" they could to assist the
FCC in adopting broadcast-flag policies.

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