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Faith-Based à la Carte?

Here's a good reason for cable operators to drop their opposition to à la carte rules. The move could stifle missionary work by all those holier-than-thou religious channels and thwart the Religious Right's hate-mongering political agenda.

Don't just take it on faith. In a recent broadside directed at the FCC, the Faith and Family Broadcasting Coalition proclaims that the cable industry's embrace of à la carte channels would do "irreparable harm to the cause of religious and inspirational broadcasting in this country." Indeed, attorney Colby May, who filed the comments for the religious broadcasters, argues that "à la carte would threaten the very existence of religious broadcasting and the vital ministry conducted over the television airwaves."

Why is that, you ask? Look no further than the law of supply and demand. If cable subscribers actually had the right to choose the channels they paid for, very few would opt to fork over payments for the likes of Pat Robertson, Jerry Falwell, Paul Crouch, Robert Sutton, and those other apostles of Light and Goodness and Reason. Which means that those channels wouldn't attract many viewers and advertising bucks and might even be dropped by cable systems.

"Christian television has an evangelical mission," May explains. "In a world in which people pre-select either in or out of religious broadcasts, that mission would be greatly compromised. Either they would be preaching to the choir, or not at all."

Tsk, tsk, tsk. What an evil force capitalism can be sometimes, eh?

— Alan Breznick, Site Editor, Cable Digital News

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