The Hill

By Gautham Nagesh

May 30, 2011

The Federal Communications Commission should require broadcasters and television providers to maintain programming regardless of the status of retransmission negotiations, according to a coalition of minority advocacy groups.

The groups, which include the Hispanic Federation, the National Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, and the Rainbow PUSH Coalition, argue that blackouts during retransmission disputes disproportionately harm low income and minority consumers in comments filed with the Commission.

“Consumers should not be burdened with having to switch providers when their programming is interrupted, nor should they have to endure costs that may be the unfortunate by-product of switching, — such as paying additional deposits and connection fees for a new provider, or having to install new hardware and learn new software in order to keep watching their shows — just to keep watching broadcast television shows,” the groups state.

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The Hill: Minority advocacy groups want FCC to end blackouts