Want the Disney Channel but not MTV? Don't be forced to support
offensive content. Choose your own channels.
Expanded basic cable has become a kind of Pandora's box for
families. Many parents welcome expanded basic cable into their homes because
it opens up a whole universe of family-friendly programming.
There's the Disney channel, Nickelodeon, ABC Family Channel, the
Discovery Channel, and more. But to access these educational and
family-friendly networks, they are also forced to pay for channels
they don't want and that actually make their job as a parent much
more difficult. Now, in addition to trying to protect their
children from the filth on Fox, NBC, UPN, and the other broadcast
networks, they also have to try to protect their children from the
much more explicit fare on MTV, FX, Comedy Central, and the like.
The Parents Television Council™ praised the decision by the U.S. District Court in Los Angeles to allow a case to move forward that is a direct challenge to the lack of cable choice available to consumers.
“We applaud the federal court’s decision allowing the class action antitrust suit to proceed to trial on the merits of the complaint. It is a breath of fresh air to know that cable consumers still have a voice in our court system. Sadly, the consumer’s voice in Washington DC and elsewhere has been muted by the cable industry’s enormous wallet,” said PTC President Tim Winter.
Television Council filed an
Amicus brief in the
FCC vs. Fox Television Stations
case to be heard by the U.S.
Supreme Court. The Court
will hear the FCC challenge of
the Second Circuit Court of
Appeals ruling that overturned
FCC decisions finding as
indecent the airing of the
“F-word” and “S-word” during
Fox’s live broadcasts of the
2002 and 2003 Billboard Music
Awards’ shows. The PTC and
its members filed FCC indecency
complaints over these two
“The FCC and Congress need to listen to American
families and consumers rather than to the banter of
Washington power brokers and lobbyists for the cable
industry. Some members of Congress have spoken out
against the FCC’s rightful attempt to interpret
existing federal law that would change the status
quo within the cable industry for the benefit of
families, consumers and minorities. Interestingly
enough, many of those members are taking large
campaign contributions from the cable industry, led
by Rep. Joe Barton of Texas whose biggest
contributor coincidentally happens to have the most
at risk: Comcast. The fact that members of Congress
are willing to spend their time serving as a
mouthpiece for the cable industry rather than
speaking out on behalf of their own constituents is
beyond disappointing,” said PTC President Tim
recently announced the launch of
a new website,
site allows you to see just how much you are paying for cable networks
don't want or don't watch and also allows you
to calculate what your cable bill should be if you
were allowed to "vote with your wallet" by selecting only the
cable networks you want. Visit the site and test it out for
Parents Television Council issued a statement in response
to the class-action lawsuit that was filed yesterday against
the cable industry.
“On behalf of our 1.2 million members, we
applaud the commencement of legal action which, we hope,
will lead to the ability for cable subscribers to pick and
choose – and pay for – only the cable networks they want,”
said Tim Winter, president of the Parents Television
Survey shows 71% don't want to pay for
channels they don't watch and 82% believe their current cable costs are too
subscribers who only watch a few channels out of the bundle they purchase
from their cable provider are hoping efforts by the Federal Communications
Commission could make “a la carte cable” a reality—purchasing channels
individually instead of in bulk packages is preferred by more than half the
nation’s cable subscribers, a new Zogby Interactive poll shows.
The Parents Television Council praised XM and Sirius satellite radio for announcing their commitment to provide consumers and families the ability to choose their programming on an a la carte basis, pending approval and completion of their proposed merger. In addition to offering their traditional bundles of programming, XM and Sirius will offer more affordable a la carte packages, including an option for families to block adult-themed channels and receive a price credit for the unwanted programming. ►
PTC Joins Congressmen and FCC Chairman to Announce Details of New Bill
The Parents Television Council praised U.S. Reps. Dan Lipinski (D-IL) and Jeff Fortenberry (R-NE) for their introduction of legislation called the “Family
and Consumer Choice Act
of 2007,” designed to provide families with the ability choose and pay for only the cable networks they want. The PTC’s Director of Corporate and Government Affairs Dan Isett joined the Congressmen and FCC Chairman Kevin Martin in announcing their support at a news conference today.
Cable subscribers everywhere should be
outraged and demand to know why they
are being forced to subsidize
bestiality with their cable bills. Yes, you heard me right: bestiality,
where a person engages in sexual
activity with an animal. And if you
subscribe to cable or satellite TV
so you can watch ESPN or History
Channel or CNN or Fox News, then you
helped pay for that disgusting
content. That's why we urgently need
you to respond to this
call-to-action. Please take a moment
today to write to your Congressman
and Senators and demand Cable
produced the Super Bowl halftime show with Janet Jackson, parents around
the country were shocked and outraged at what they saw. But children
were not, simply because they watch MTV and know this is standard fare
on that network. Given the chance, how many parents would have picked up
the phone and unsubscribed to MTV the next day? But they can't. The
industry won't allow it. And MTV receives hundreds of millions of
dollars every year from families who don't want that network in their
article by Tim Winter answers many of your frequently asked questions.
here to read more.
Central's Vulgarity-Filled Celebrity Roast Proves the Need for Cable Choice
On Sunday, August 20, Comedy Central continued
its ignominious tradition of airing its indescribably vulgar annual
Celebrity Roast. This year the honoree was William Shatner. As with
previous airings, this year's roast was filled with obscene language and
sexually explicit jokes.
The most disturbing thing about this broadcast
isn't even the content – it's the fact that more than two-thirds of U.S.
cable subscribers were forced to help subsidize this raunch with their cable
bills because of the cable industry's regime of forced-extortion. Whether
or not you want this kind of programming coming into your home, if you are a
cable subscriber, part of your cable bill went toward underwriting this
to read graphic excerpts from the Comedy Central Roast
of William Shatner.
Parents Television Council joined today with
Congressmen Dan Lipinski (D-IL) and Tom Osborne
(R-NE) to support providing families with cable
choice, the ability to take and pay for only the
cable channels they want and called on the cable
industry to support this plan.
to read excerpts from a statement given at a press
conference by L. Brent Bozell.
Television Council praised U.S. Senator John McCain (R-Arizona)
for introducing a bill that would incentivize cable companies to
provide a la carte cable choice to families.
"Sen. McCain has shown incredible leadership on
the cable choice issue, and we are pleased that he has
introduced legislation that will help provide families with the
ability to take and pay for only the cable channels they want.
The forced subsidy of graphic and explicit content on basic
cable must end," said L. Brent Bozell, president of the PTC.
New AP/Ipsos Poll confirms America's support for Cable Choice
Associated Press recently released a poll conducted by Ipsos Public
Affairs on the topic of Cable Choice. This new poll reflects what
the PTC already knew to be true about Cable Choice. Here are some
excerpts from the results of the survey:
of those polled would prefer to choose their own channels.
Put another way, people prefer to choose their own channels by a
more than5 to 1 margin over those who want a tier of
channels chosen for them.
of those polled said there was too much sex on TV, 68% said
there was too much violence – and nearly 2/3said
they would be interested in video service from their phone
company if the phone company offered more choice in channel
Crushes Cable Industry's "Great Wall" of Excuses
New Report Paves the Way for Cable Choice
Parents Television Council (PTC) lauded the
Federal Communications Commission's (FCC) report that gives concrete
evidence that providing a la carte cable choice to consumers is
feasible, and that the cable industry should pave the way for cable
"We applaud the FCC and
Chairman Martin for bringing the truth to an issue where only lies and
deceit had gone before: Cable Choice will help, not hurt, consumers.
Consumers -- and especially families -- must be afforded the ability to
pick and choose and pay for only those networks they want in their
homes," said L. Brent Bozell, president of the PTC.
"We hope today's announcement
will spur the cable industry to do the responsible thing and offer
unbundled network programming for those consumers who want it. And if
they refuse to shed their anti-competitive practices, then Congress
should force them to do so. ►more
PTC Talking Points for the FCC's "Further Report" on Cable Choice
The first report erred in
estimating the costs and prices of a la carte programming.
report assumes that consumers would only purchase 11 channels and
estimates costs and prices based on that assumption. A more
economically sound approach to determining the number of channels would
be to take prices as fixed and estimate
demand given those prices.
A la carte may increase
advertising revenues for niche networks. A la
carte may provide market signals that more accurately reflect actual
viewers rather than potential viewers. As a result, small networks may
be able to demonstrate their popularity and thus increase their
A la carte could decrease many consumers' video
The original report erroneously concluded that consumers would incur a
14-30% increase. However, it actually showed that the applicable bill
increase would be between -2% and +15%. The previous study's
own assumptions show that a consumer would receive a benefit ranging
from a 13% decrease to a 4% increase, with a decrease in 3 out of
The first report erred in determining that a consumer who
purchased 9 or more channels would see a bill increase.
When calculating the average price per channel, Booz-Allen-Hamilton
failed to net out the cost of broadcast basic stations. If the cost of
these stations was deducted, a consumer could receive 16 to 20 channels
without an increase.
A la carte could induce
customers to take MVPD service who would not otherwise be willing to pay
the bundle price. By allowing consumers to
choose the amount they are willing to pay and adjust channel choice
based on that amount, consumers who are not willing to pay bundling
price may be willing to pay for a select few channels.
A la carte could make it
easier for some networks to enter the market.
Under bundling, if a niche network does not raise the total value of the
bundle to those viewers up to the bundle price or generate new
subscribers, then there is no benefit to include the network in the
bundle. As a result, regardless of a consumer's value of the niche
network, it may not be available to him. Under a la carte, however, a
network with a small, dedicated audience may be able to generate the
adequate revenue through a higher per-subscriber fee.
A la carte could offer
consumers the ability to pay only for the programming that they value.
Consumers may find that programming they pay
for as part of a bundle contains networks they do not watch and fails to
include other quality programming that they would enjoy. While the
current bundle can still be available for those consumers who prefer to
keep the full lineup of channels, those who would prefer not to
subsidize certain channels will have the option to opt out of paying for
and receiving those channels.
America's Media Speaks Out
for Cable Choice!
ago we told you about the concept of "Cable Choice", being able to pick and
choose -- and pay for -- only the cable networks you wanted to allow into
your home. A year ago the cable industry said it was impossible. They said
that technology prohibited such an option. We proved that the technology did exist.
the cable industry said they would help customers to block
networks they didn't like. We exposed the flaw that consumers would still be
forced to pay for the unwanted networks that they chose to
next pathetic argument against Cable Choice was that it would force smaller,
niche and minority-targeted networks into bankruptcy. Prominent consumer
organizations exposed the fallacy of that argument showing evidence that
such networks might actually benefit from Cable Choice.
the cable industry struck fear into the hearts of many by saying that Cable
Choice would have the undesired effect of increasing the cost
of a cable subscription while giving the customer fewer
channels. We have exposed that, too, as a fallacy; and we pointed out that
the cable industry already increases their fees at 3-4 times the national
rate of inflation. And now the Federal Communications Commission is agreeing
with us, saying that a recent analysis by their economists shows that costs
would not increase with Cable Choice.
Knowing that their backs were against the wall, the cable industry did last
month what it said it would not and could not do: provide a "family tier" of
cable networks so that parents could protect their children from graphic and
gratuitous programming. And over the past few weeks we have exposed the
fatal flaw of this 'last gasp' attempt by the cable industry to prevent
Cable Choice. Make no mistake: While this option appears -- at first blush
-- to be a good solution, it does absolutely nothing in reality to help
families. Family tiers were designed by the cable industry solely to appease
Washington lawmakers, not to give a real solution to families concerned with
harsh cable content.
to the efforts of the PTC and its broad array of partners in the cable
choice battle, the public -- and our public servants -- are becoming aware
of the merits of Cable Choice. Across the country newspaper stories and
editorials are calling forreal cable choice.
To get the most popular cable channels, consumers must also pay
cable and satellite companies for channels that fewer people watch. Here's a
look at the top-rated cable channels and their lower-ranked cousins owned by the
Corporate cousins: MTV, MTV2, VH1, Nick Toons, CMT, BET, Nick at Nite, TV
Land, Noggin, Spike TV, Comedy Central.
Owner: Time Warner
Corporate cousins: TBS, Turner Classic Movies, CNNfn, CNN Headline News.
3. Cartoon Network
Owner: Time Warner
Corporate cousins: TBS, Turner Classic Movies, CNNfn, CNN Headline News.
4. Disney Channel
Corporate cousins: ABC Family, Soapnet,E! Entertainment Television.
Corporate cousins: The History Channel, ESPN, Biography, A&E.
Parents Television Council,
Clean Up TV Now, Because our children are watching, The
nation's most influential advocacy organization, Protecting
children against sex, violence and profanity in
entertainment, Parents Television Council Seal of Approval,
and Family Guide to Prime Time Television
are trademarks of the Parents Television Council.