Paxson Seeks Must-Carry Reversal


Paxson Communications Corp. is asking top Federal Communications Commission
officials to reverse a staff decision that barred the TV-station owner from
gaining digital carriage on Chicago cable systems.

In a decision by the Cable Services Bureau, the FCC ruled last month that
Paxson was not entitled to digital carriage until after the company had
surrendered its analog license.

In a complaint against AT&T Broadband and 12 other area cable operators,
Paxson said it wanted to keep the analog license for off-air viewers and
demanded that cable operators carry its primary digital feed in analog and five
other multiplex digital channels on their digital tiers. Paxson's proposal did
not require cable to carry the analog and digital feeds.

On Feb. 22, Paxson asked the four FCC commissioners to reverse the bureau's
action as 'erroneous and inconsistent with the 1992 Cable Act.' Further, the
company asked that the FCC hold its decision 'in abeyance' until the agency had
finished work on outstanding digital-TV issues, including whether cable
operators need to carry both analog- and digital-TV signals.