Martin Ready To Hammer Cable


Washington – FCC chairman Kevin Martin is charging ahead with plans to hammer the cable industry with new regulations at the agency’s Nov. 27 public meeting here.

Included in the agenda are the following:

* Rules to force cable operators to charge no more than 10 cents per month per subscriber to leased access programmers.

* Rules that would effectively force Comcast and Time Warner to carry the Hallmark Channel and the NFL Network and pay the networks handsome license fees.

* A finding that cable penetration exceeds 70% of households, triggering a legal provision enacted in 1984 that gives the FCC potentially massive new regulatory powers over cable operators and, derivatively, cable programmers.

* A notice as the first step toward rules that would allow minority, religious and small business entities to lease spectrum from digital TV stations and demand carriage from local cable operators.