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