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Freedom of Information Held Captive by Legislation That Favors Broadcasters

Corporate control of the American monetary system has wreaked havoc on the lives of millions of Americans — and the corporations are at it again. This time they are going after the consumer’s ability to freely access information through their television. Television broadcasters want to prevent nearly six million Americans from having the right to view network TV from any location. The fear of losing advertising revenue has kept millions of people from seeing their favorite sports, dramas, news and comedies. [IMGCAP(1)]More than 15 percent of Americans cannot get their national networks (ABC, CBS, NBC and FOX) through an over-the-air antenna but could get it through distant networks provided by satellite. “KMBC is afraid that they will lose a customer they haven’t had in 30 years and does not care that they are the only one standing in the way of us getting ABC,— said Lorna Sue Meyer of Savannah, Mo., about her local ABC affiliate who has denied her request to receive distant networks for three years. Just imagine trying to turn on your TV to watch the final four contestants on American Idol and getting nothing but a blank screen — earth-shattering, eh? Unfortunately, those Americans who do not have access to their national networks will be staring at a blank screen when it comes time to announce the final Idol because of an outdated law passed in the 1980s. That law, the Satellite Home Viewer Act, only allows distant networks to be provided to a small fraction of customers who have to jump through multiple hoops in order to receive the channels. American citizens who are requesting to receive distant networks as their only way to watch network programming are being rejected in mass quantities every day. “So, in other words, they have me by the balls,— said Janet Lolley from Culver, Ore., of her experience in trying to get distant networks after being denied by her local affiliate. “What a mess this whole process has become for the consumer and all because of corporate greed. I am stuck without a primary channel and during a major election year,— said Lisa Chaffee from Leesburg, Ga., after being denied by a local ABC affiliate. Network broadcasters and local affiliates are limiting American consumers’ access to information because of their hunger for advertising revenue. This needs to stop. Fortunately, the SHVA is up for renewal in December., an established provider of consumer electronics and satellite services, is fighting on behalf of American consumers to enact legislation that will allow more than 14 million satellite customers from around the country to view distant networks from multiple markets. Imagine living in New York and being able to watch sports from the West Coast! Wouldn’t it be great to be able to check the local weather of your child who is a college freshman or your aging parent who lives in a Florida hurricane zone when you live in Iowa? With the new legislation for distant networks, you can! Millions of Americans are lost and are unable to watch their favorite TV shows. Don’t leave them out in the cold. Legislation to change this outdated law is not being voted on until the end of the year, but the hearings to prepare for that legislation are occurring now. Visit to sign the Congressional petition in support of changing this law and write your lawmakers. The time is NOW to fix this archaic law and take control of your viewing rights! Mike Mountford is CEO of

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