First Amendment Status Of Cable Tv V. Broadcast

764 words - 4 pages

First Amendment Status of Cable TV v. Broadcast

Electronic media content can be viewed differently according to personal opinions, but the First Amendment Rights of the United States Constitution lay the foundation for the legal system that is to be followed. These rights form a guide that help citizens have a stronger grasp on what is and isn’t acceptable within the eye of the law. Narrowing down to electronic media content, there has been a rise of tension involving first amendment rights of content regulations. The spectrum scarcity rationale has made it possible to control licensing schemes, along with direct content control to make sure rules are being followed according to the First ...view middle of the document...

The cable TV system differs from broadcast because it is less regulated. Cable systems are not operated on the radio spectrum, and are not subject to scarcity rationale for regulation purposes. The FCC does not license cable TV as a requirement for operating the systems because the municipal government is the primary regulator. Unlike broadcasting, the cable systems’ legal rights can be controlled by cities and countries, or by local governments that franchise cable operators.
Cable systems regulations are less strict, but still come with federal limits on ownership. The Cable television consumer protection and competition act of 1992 influenced the congress to direct the FCC to establish two types of limits defining the line between the owner’s reach of operation, “horizontal,” and the cable operator’s integration with content providers, ”vertical.” The horizontal rule provided cable companies with 30 percent national pay, and no more than 40 percent to the vertical rule. These rules were tested in the case of Time Warner Entertainment Co. v. FCC as unconstitutionally arbitrary. The court said, “we recognize that in drawing a numerical line an agency will ultimately indulge in some inescapable residue of arbitrariness… But to pass even the arbitrary and capricious standard, the agency must at least reveal a rational connection between the...

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