In a move that has upset the broadcast industry, the Federal Communications Commission is letting a rule requiring cable operators to carry local stations in analog lapse, with a possible end result of forcing viewers to upgrade their equipment or switch to antennas in order to view local stations.
While big network stations like ABC and CBS will most likely continued to be carried in analog for the time being, smaller broadcasters like Una Vez Mas or Azteca America will end up being broadcasting digitally, which the National Association of Broadcasters fears will lead to less diversity in broadcasting. Some are even arguing the FCC’s decision to let the rule lapse is part of a plan to get smaller broadcasters to exit television and sell their airwaves for mobile technology usage.
Are you one of the millions of cable users who haven’t upgraded to digital? Will you upgrade to digital to access local stations? Do you watch local stations now? What affect do you think the elimination of the “must carry” rule will have?
Andrew Feinberg, Washington D.C. based journalist who covers technology and telecommunication; he wrote an article recently published in The Hill on protests planned by African-American churches against this rule
Dennis Wharton, executive vice president of communications, National Association of Broadcasters