Chief of the Federal Communication commission had recently proposed development of minority programming with the help of cable operators who would require broadcasting more television channels. But, even before the commission is to meet for a vote on this, the fate of this proposal is dubious.
Kevin Martin, chairman of the FCC said full power status can be awarded to the low powered and small broadcasting stations thereby making it mandatory for cable stations to pick them up. These include the Comcast Corp and Time Warner Cable Inc., which airs programs on stock buzz, profile, research and quote.
With this move, stations, which serve the minority community, will be given encouragement and a face lift, says Martin. He went on to say that stations, which are likely to get affected, are presently airing Spanish programs.
Cable operators however are not too happy with this proposal. According to them this condition violates their right to free speech according to the First Amendment and will be an unfair burden on them.
FCC will meet at Nashville, Tennessee coming Wednesday to vote on this proposal. Earlier in the year, a similar proposal was stalled due to commissioner’s lack of consensus.
According to one of the attorneys representing the Community Broadcaster’s Association, Peter Tannenwald, none of the low power station operators are enthusiastic about the proposal. He said no one is actually willing to commit on anything concrete and politically it is a complicated situation.
Certain cable operator skeptics claim that data with FCC was not adequate to confirm if the low power stations are actually owned by minority and supporting their community locally.