Barton, Markey Address NCTA Board

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House Energy and Commerce Committee chairman Joe Barton (R-Texas) and Rep. Edward Markey (D-Mass.) met separately with the board of the National Cable & Telecommunications Association Thursday to discuss indecent and violent programming on cable television.

Top cable companies have agreed to provide parents with free equipment to block unsuitable programming for their children as part of a broader consumer-awareness campaign about the tools cable systems offer to filter unwanted content.

"The board appreciated the opportunity to hear directly from chairman Barton and Rep. Markey about this important issue and welcomed the congressional leaders' expressions of support for the cable industry's voluntary parental-control and consumer-education initiatives," NCTA president Robert Sachs said in a prepared statement.

Barton has said that cable’s basic tier should be family-friendly, meaning no indecent programming. He has also said that he would favor requiring a family-friendly tier if blocking technology fails as an alternative.