This time NAB President Eddie Fritts is upping the ante, saying that broadcasters would consider swapping free air-time for political candidates in exchange for a multicast must-carry rule.
Fritts said that Sens. Kay Bailey Hutchison, (R-TX), and Olympia Snowe, (R-ME), have agreed to lead efforts for a multicast carriage requirement in the Senate.
In addition, Fritts said Rep. Joe Barton, (R-TX), has made clear that while he opposes a carriage requirement, broadcasters should feel free to lobby other representatives for a House amendment that would require multicast carriage.
Multichannel must-carry has been rejected by the FCC and has yet to gain substantial support in Congress. It is fiercely opposed by the cable television industry.