The cable industry is challenging local broadcasters' claim that cable
systems have the necessary channel capacity to carry both analog- and digital-TV
The National Cable & Telecommunications Association presented federal
regulators with a study Tuesday showing that dual carriage of local TV signals
would displace cable networks and restrict cable operators' data and
The NCTA's study, coupled with a letter to Federal Communications Commission
chairman Michael Powell, was designed to blunt a study filed at the FCC by the
National Association of Broadcasters, which concluded that cable operators could
easily accommodate both signals.
The NCTA's study, which questioned the accuracy of the NAB's study on several
fronts, concluded that the NAB's approach would deny consumers access to
valuable new services while forcing cable operators to offer cable consumers
duplicative broadcast services.
'Most vulnerable will be the newly launched and planned program services that
seek to cater to specialized interests,' the NCTA study said. 'There are
unlikely to be readily available TV-programming substitutes for cable services
oriented to niche audiences.'
The NCTA study was prepared by PDS Consulting in Lexington, Mass. The NAB's
study was prepared by the Miller Weiss Group.