US Cable Giants Mull 'Family Viewing' Grades

09 December 2005

US cable TV giants Comcast and Time Warner are apparently bowing to pressure from media watchdog, the Federal Communications Commission, over 'family-friendly' viewing.

The two companies are reported to be considering offering cable-TV customers a 'family tier' service, free from violence, sex and bad language.

They are said to be responding to the FCC's recent volte face that subscribers should be able to pick and choose which channels they receive rather than accept the bundles currently offered [WAMN: 01-Dec-05].

Program providers, such as the Walt Disney Company and Viacom, are mostly opposed to such a la carte offerings. Their channel revenues accrue from fees per subscriber and advertising. Fewer subscribers mean reduced fee revenues, while fewer viewers threaten ad rates.

Neither Comcast nor TW has commented on the report, nor have they replied to suggestions that the move is squarely aimed at smoothing the way with the FCC for their $17.6 billion (€15.01bn; £10.14bn) acquisition of the bankrupt Adelphia Communications.

Data sourced from; additional content by WARC staff