Sachs Challenges NAB Letter on DTV


National Cable & Telecommunications Association president Robert Sachs
took issue Thursday with a new dual must-carry pitch from National Association
of Broadcasters president Edward Fritts in a letter he penned the same day to
Federal Communications Commission chairman Michael Powell.

Sachs said the cable industry last month embraced Powell's
digital-TV-transition plan, which called on advanced cable systems to carry up
to five channels from cable and broadcast suppliers that offer value-added
digital programming -- most likely, high-definition TV.

'The Powell plan did not call for redundant carriage of every broadcaster's
analog and digital signals. Cable operators remain committed to carrying every
broadcaster's primary digital signal as soon as broadcasters return their analog
spectrum to the federal government,' Sachs said.

Sachs was replying to Fritts' suggestion to Powell that the goals of the FCC
chairman's digital-TV-transition plan would not be met 'since the cable industry
has not committed to carrying all local DTV signals or all the content on those