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Aderholt Joins Bi-Partisan Effort to Introduce Family and Consumer Choice Act

June 15, 2007
Press Release

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Congressman Robert Aderholt (R-Haleyville) today joined a bipartisan effort to expand and improve family programming options for cable and satellite television consumers. The Family and Consumer Choice Act of 2007 offers a common sense solution to the problem of offensive, vulgar, violent and/or obscene programming that is currently forced on consumers by cable and satellite providers.

“A parents job is to parent. Let me make it clear, this legislation isn’t a substitute for parental involvement but rather a tool for parents to better monitor and control what their children are watching on TV,” said Congressman Aderholt. “This bill offers a common sense approach that allows parents to parent and limit what their children are exposed to on television.”

Currently consumers face limited choices of family programming and are forced to pay for many channels they don’t want. For example, in order to get popular educational, news and sports channels consumers are forced to also get channels that may be objectionable for children such as Spike TV or MTV. Polls have confirmed that parents are concerned that their children are being bombarded by obscene, indecent and violent programming. A late 2005 AP/Ipsos Poll showed that 66% of Americans say there is too much sex on TV and 68% say there is too much violence.

Congressman Aderholt continued, “The way the system works now, in order to get channels that families want to watch, they are also forced to get channels they don’t want. When you go to the store to purchase a shirt, you’re not required to buy a pair of pants as well. Consumers deserve more options, not fewer. This bill is intended to give them those options without limiting what other consumers want to choose. ”

The Family and Consumer Choice Act would require any multi-channel video programming distributor (cable or satellite provider) to do one of the following: limit indecent programming during daylight hours as broadcast television now does, offer a family tier of programming, or offer an opt-out “a-la-carte” cable package to customers.

“This is an important issue for America’s families. That’s one reason that I decided to be an original co-sponsor of this bill. My children are another reason. I believe more households would subscribe to these services as a result of this legislation. This should be good for the cable and satellite companies,” concluded Congressman Aderholt.