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CONTACT: Mike Wendy
April 13, 2010
(202) 289-8928
Cable, Broadcast & the First Amendment:
Will the Supreme Court End Must-Carry?

PFF Briefing on Tuesday, April 27

WASHINGTON D.C. — Since 1972, the FCC has required cable television systems to dedicate some of their channels to local broadcast television stations. The Supreme Court upheld these "must-carry" rules in the mid-1990s. But last year's DC Circuit decision striking down the FCC's 30% cap on cable ownership lead Cablevision to challenge the must-carry rules. The Supreme Court will soon announce whether it will review the Second Circuit's decision last June upholding the rules.

Our panel of FCC experts includes counsel for Cablevision and Discovery Communications (which lost access for some of its programming on Cablevision's Long Island network when a local broadcaster exercised its must-carry rights), as well as two long-time veterans of the broadcasting and cable industries. They'll discuss the case; the history of must-carry; what's at stake for broadcasters, programmers and cable operators; and what a Supreme Court decision could mean for the First Amendment's application to other media.

When: 10:00 a.m. - 11:45 a.m.
Where: Hogan & Hartson LLP
555 13th Street NW
Washington, D.C. 20004
Who: Dan Brenner, Partner, Hogan & Hartson LLP; former director of regulatory and legal affairs at the National Cable & Telecommunications Association (NCTA)

Matt Brill, Partner, Latham & Watkins LLP; counsel for Discovery Communications, amicus in Cablevision case; former Senior Legal Advisor to FCC Commissioner Kathleen Abernathy

Jack Goodman, Counsel, WilmerHale; former general counsel of the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB)

Howard Symons, Member, Mintz Levin; counsel for Cablevision; former Senior Counsel to House Subcommittee on Telecommunications

Adam Thierer (moderator), President, The Progress & Freedom Foundation (PFF)

To Register: Space is limited, so an RSVP is required to attend. Please register online here. Event questions should be directed to Allison Bringardner at Media inquiries should be directed to Mike Wendy at

The Progress & Freedom Foundation is a market-oriented think tank that studies the digital revolution and its implications for public policy. It is a 501(c)(3) research & educational organization.



The Progress & Freedom Foundation