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TBN Asks Viewers to Contact U.S. Senator John McCain on Potentially Harmful A La Carte Cable Legislation


LOS ANGELES (May 16, 2006) --- Trinity Broadcasting Network's (TBN) Vice President Paul Crouch, Jr. is asking viewers and supporters of Christian broadcasting to contact U.S. Senator John McCain (R-AZ) concerning possible legislation that would negatively impact the quality of Christian television throughout America.

"Senator McCain is considering offering a bill that would drastically change how cable subscribers order channels and could seriously impact faith-based networks like TBN," said Crouch. "It's called A La Carte, and it would mean that instead of ordering a cable package that includes TBN and other faith-based cable channels, subscribers would be able to choose only the channels they want."

Colby May, a TBN attorney and expert in FCC cable regulations, explained that while A La Carte sounds like a great idea for subscribers, the consequences of such government-mandated "consumer choice" would be an increase in cable costs and a decrease in overall choice for consumers.

"The whole model would be like newspaper subscribers demanding that they be allowed to purchase only the sections of the newspaper they want to read," said May. "The problem is that publishers spread their costs over all the sections so they can offer the newspaper to us for a quarter or fifty cents. But if readers were allowed to purchase just the sports section, or the classifieds, and skip the rest, that same paper would now cost two or three dollars."

Similarly, cable companies keep their costs down by offering different packages of cable channels, including the standard networks, plus sports, entertainment, music, movie channels and faith-based networks like TBN, JCTV, Smile of a Child, and the Church Channel. "If the law mandates that subscribers must specifically select channels via A La Carte including networks like TBN we can expect significant increases in what we pay for cable service," said May.

Crouch added that such a law would severely limit TBN as a tool for spreading the Christian message. "Right now TBN is part of a package in nearly every cable company's channel offerings," he explained. "That means both Christians and non-Christians have the benefit of TBN's positive, life-changing programming. But under A La Carte, many non-Christians would simply not choose to subscribe to TBN. While we appreciate the countless Christians who view and support TBN, we don't want to just preach to the choir. "We want to continue being available in all homes across America, so when someone has a problem or circumstance that requires faith and prayer, TBN will be there for them. They may not need us now, but someday they will."

Crouch emphasized that it is crucial for those who support TBN and Christian broadcasting to quickly call Senator McCain's office and say that they do not support the A La Carte cable legislation, and to ask that McCain not introduce it into the Senate.

"If we can get thousands of folks contacting Senator McCain's office and tactfully, graciously stating their disapproval of this bill, we can effectively put a stop to this potentially destructive plan," he said.

How to contact Senator John McCain:

Sen. John McCain
Senate Russell 241
1st & C Street, NE
Washington DC 20515


Tel. (202)224-2235, ext. 2
Note: This is the direct dial it starts as an electronic answering service but if you dial #2 it then connects you with his office and staff.

Sen. McCain's District Office in Phoenix: (602)952-2410

How to contact Senator Ted Stevens:

Sen. Ted Stevens
Senate Hart 522
2nd & C Street, NE
Washington, DC 20515


Tel. (202)224-3004

Sen. Stevens District Office in Anchorage is: (907)271-5915

Both of these offices can, of course, still be contacted by dialing the Capital Switchboard: (202)224-3121 .

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