Wright to Testify at House DTV Hearing


Robert Wright, CEO of NBC and vice chairman of General Electric Co., is
scheduled to testify Wednesday before a House subcommittee on the pace of the
digital-television transition, sources said.

Wright, industry sources said, is also expected to comment on draft
digital-TV legislation unveiled this past Wednesday by House Commerce Committee
chairman Billy Tauzin (R-La.) and Rep. John Dingell (D-Mich.).

Among other things, the bill would require TV stations to terminate analog
broadcasting Dec. 31, 2006, which would likely require millions of consumers
that do not subscribe to cable or satellite to buy digital-TV sets or
digital-to-analog converters.

'Is there anything more anti-competitive than turning off television sets?' a
broadcast-industry source complained.

The hearing is being held by the House Subcommittee on Telecommunications and
the Internet.

Cable-industry witnesses include Lani Corbi, president and CEO of Crown Media
U.S., which operates Hallmark Channel; and Jim Gleason, president and CEO of
CableDirect in Sikeston, Mo.

Gleason is also chairman of the small-operator American Cable Association. A
large-MSO executive is expected to appear before the panel, as