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Broadcasters get support from Digital TV Coalition

An organization of organizations calling itself the Smart Digital TV Coalition went to Capitol Hill last week to push for resolution of three critical issues pending in the DTV transition: set-top box compensation, multicast must carry and consumer education and outreach. The group is comprised of labor, rural, religious and minority organizations. Groups like the NAB will be particularly pleased by the coalition's stance on multicast, which it says will bring, "...local news and weather, foreign language and other quality programming to viewers across the country." It argues that a multicast mandate is critical to make this programming a reality. "Inclusion of multicast must carry language in final bills will prevent cable from stripping out valuable multicast programming and will ensure that elderly, rural and minority residents will not be deprived of access to vital information," said Larry Mitchell, spokesperson, for coalition member Alliance for Rural Television. The group further argues that set-top boxes and consumer education must be taken into account. "Rural residents, minorities and elderly Americans will be disenfranchised and disproportionately affected if these issues are not addressed," said Manuel Mirabal, Chair of the Hispanic Technology & Telecommunications Partnership.

see coalition members listed here

* National Consumers League

* Hispanic Technology & Telecommunications Partnership

* International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers

* 1890's Council of Presidents

* Religious Voices in Broadcasting

* The Alliance for Rural Television, including the American Corn Growers Association, the National Farmers Organization, the National Farmers Union, the National Grange, the Soybean Producers of America, Women Involved in Farm Economics, Federation of Southern Cooperatives, American Agriculture Movement, and the National Association of Farmer Elected Committees

* CBS Television Network Affiliates Association

* NBC Television Affiliates

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