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FCC rejects multi-station digital TV requirement for cable providers

[JURIST] The Federal Communications Commission [official website] Thursday rejected a proposal that would have required cable providers to offer multiple digital channels from local broadcasters. Commissioners upheld by a 4-1 vote a 2001 regulation requiring cable operators to carry only one digital channel for each broadcaster. Broadcasters contended that the cable providers were trying to prevent competition against cable-only networks, but the operators countered that the First Amendment gives them the power to decide content on the limited space available. National Cable and Telecommunications Association [official website] President Robert Sachs praised the FCC's decision, saying it would allow the market to determine channels. Read the NCTA statement. The FCC has more on digital television [FCC backgrounder]. AP has more.

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