News

Karmazin, Enron Lobby FCC on ITV

7/10/2001 3:40 PM Eastern

Mel Karmazin, president and chief operating officer of Viacom Inc., met June
28 with senior staff of four Federal Communications Commission members to lobby
them on his company's position favoring regulation of cable operators'
interactive-television offerings.

Viacom, owner of 38 television stations, supports new FCC regulations
designed to block cable operators from treating their interactive-TV affiliates
better than they treat independent interactive-TV providers.

Karmazin pitched interactive-TV regulation to 20 FCC employees in all,
including staff from the Mass Media and Cable bureaus and the Office of the
General Counsel.

Also June 28, Enron Broadband Services -- which just hired cable open-access
proponent Greg Simon as a company lobbyist -- sent a team of lobbyists to the
FCC to meet with three senior staff members of the Cable Bureau and aides to FCC
members.

Enron -- which wants the commission to apply interactive-TV regulation to all
cable operators regardless of their affiliations -- told the FCC aides of its
entertainment on-demand trails in four markets and its progress in negotiating
'last-mile' access with satellite and digital-subscriber-line providers.

However, Enron said, 'Major cable MSOs had thus far refused to seriously
consider offering the unaffiliated product over their
conduit.'

June