Groups press for renewal of analog viewability rule


Although MVPDs would like to see the post-DTV transition rule requiring dual carriage of analog and digital television signals expire as scheduled, public interest groups say that a lot of analog television sets are still and use and argue that the rule must be extended.

Parul P. Desai of the Consumers Union filed an ex parte disclosure report detailing conversations with several people at the FCC on the topic.

“I expressed concern that revising the current rule could result in an unfair burden and unjust cost to consumers if a new rule required consumers to pay an additional fee for a set-top box that receives analog signals,” he wrote.

Desai said he understood that MVPDs could benefit from reclaiming bandwidth used for dual carriage, and said that would be OK as long as they make no-cost set-top boxes or some other no-cost option available to affected viewers.

Meanwhile, a coalition of African-American churches, representing some 30K places of worship, is planning protests at both the FCC and NCTA headquarters to urge extension of the viewability rules.