Cable Frets Over Indecency

Cable Frets Over Indecency
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Cable Frets Over Indecency

The possibility that Congress will tell the FCC to fold cable into broadcast indecency rules is a topic of conversation at the National Cable & Telecommunications convention in San Francisco.
One cable exec told the Los Angeles Times the climate is "scary," referring to a proposal by Senator Ted Stevens, R-Alaska, to apply the rules to cable.
The commission has treated cable and its subscription-based cousin, satellite, differently than broadcasters because the former are pay services. Broadcasters would like to see cable and satellite operate under the same programming restrictions as they do. Broadcasters say in an age when many viewers and listeners don't distinguish between over-the-air and subscription material, having two sets of rules doesn't make sense.
The issue could have consequences for Howard Stern, the Times reports. The paper quotes sources as saying that Comcast considered not renewing "The Howard Stern Show," a videotaped version of his radio program, when the contract expires this spring due to indecency concerns, especially if the nature of his content becomes racier when Howard moves to satellite radio in January.