Last updated: February 21, 2008 - 12:03am
FCC Chairman Kevin Martin released the following statement Monday: "I am pleased that some cable companies may respond to consumer demand and begin to voluntarily offer family tiers. For several years, I have been urging the cable and satellite industry to give parents additional tools to help them address the increasing amount of coarse programming on television. Offering a family-friendly package has always been one of the options I supported. I look forward to hearing more about the details of their plans and hope that it will provide parents with real options to address parents' legitimate concerns with having to purchase programming that they believe is unsuitable for their children."
[SOURCE: Federal Communications Commission]
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Barton, Upton Praise Cable Family Tier Proposal
U.S. Rep. Joe Barton, R-Texas, chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, and U.S. Rep. Fred Upton, R-Mich., chairman of the Telecommunications and the Internet Subcommittee, issued the following statements in response to today's announcement that several cable television providers will offer a family tier of programming. In February, the House approved H.R. 310, the Broadcast Indecency Act of 2005, which would raise the amount the FCC can fine for indecency from $32,500 to $500,000 per violation. H.R. 310 passed the House by a vote of 389 to 38.
U.S. Rep. Joe Barton said:
"A family-friendly tier will provide parents and their children with some shelter from the deluge of questionable content on cable television, and I want to commend Kyle McSlarrow at the National Cable Television Association for taking the lead in developing a good idea into a good offering. The House Energy and Commerce Committee has heard parents' rising chorus of concern over indecent television for a long time, and that's why the first bill the committee passed this year was one to raise fines on over-the-air broadcasters that run content children shouldn't see. Cable television is a subscription service that consumers have to invite into their homes, but a subscription to cable needn't be a welcome mat for nothing but the rawest programming that Hollywood can concoct. I've never given up hope that cable TV could find a market for family television, too, and now it looks like they are trying."
U.S. Rep. Fred Upton said:
"Parents are the first line of defense, and I applaud those cable companies that are taking additional steps to empower parents across the nation with a family tier option. Now that cable has stepped up to the plate, the Senate should follow suit and move the House-passed bipartisan broadcast indecency bill which raises the fines for indecent material broadcast over the public's airwaves. Through our continued efforts, families will have even greater comfort when they reach for the remote control."
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