TV One Lobbying vs. Dual Must-Carry


A start-up cable network aimed at African Americans is lobbying the Federal
Communications Commission to resist requiring cable companies to transmit both
broadcasters' analog and digital signals during the transition to all-digital

On Wednesday, TV One president and CEO Johnathan Rodgers told Democratic FCC
member Michael Copps that dual must-carry and a related requirement to carry
multiple programming services from a single broadcasting source would
"significantly harm" his attempts to find space for his channel on cable

According to an FCC filing, Rodgers attended the meeting with A&E
Television Networks president and CEO Nickolas Davatzes and Jill Luckett of the
National Cable & Telecommunications Association.

The cable executives said they delivered the same message in separate
meetings with FCC Democrat Jonathan Adelstein and Republican Kathleen Abernathy,
according to commission records.

TV One was developed by Comcast Corp. and Radio One Inc., targeting
African-American adults between ages 25-54 with entertainment programming that
the network said is unavailable on Black Entertainment Television.

TV One's other investors include Bear Stearns Cos. Inc. unit Constellation
Ventures. The channel is preparing to premiere in January 2004.

The National Association of Broadcasters has urged the FCC for years to
require cable carriage of analog and digital signals to expedite the transition
and the return of analog spectrum.

The NAB also wants to the FCC to ensure cable carriage when a TV station uses
its digital spectrum to beam multiple programming services.

More than two years ago, the FCC rejected both NAB requests, but the agency
is reconsidering those rulings.