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CWA Applauds FCC's Report on Violent Television

Contact: Sarah Rode, Concerned Women for America, 202-488-7000 ext. 127, 202-255-2278


WASHINGTON, April 27 /Standard Newswire/ -- In a report released April 25, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) concluded there is too much violence in television programming and that the current blocking technologies and ratings systems are insufficient and do not protect children.  The report recommends government regulations to limit the amount of violent programming viewed by children, including cable choice (a la carte programming), an option Concerned Women for America (CWA) has long endorsed. 


For decades, parents, healthcare professionals, and government officials have debated the impact of excessively violent programming on children. In fact almost 70% of respondents in a poll conducted for the Associated Press said there was too much violence on television.  This report, commissioned by Congress four years ago, recommends that lawmakers "implement a time-channeling solution and/or mandate some other form of consumer choice in obtaining video programming, such as the provision by multichannel video programming providers (MVPDs) of video channels provided on family tiers or on an a la carte basis (e.g., channel blocking and reimbursement)."


"Violent programming on television is epidemic.  We applaud Chairman Martin's recommendation that the broadcast and cable television offer a la carte programming so that parents do not have to subsidize this offensive programming," said Shari Rendall, CWA's Director of Legislation and Public Policy. 


"For too long the broadcast and cable television industry has been allowed to say it's the parents' responsibility to control their children's viewing habits, while forcing these excessively violent and offensive programs into our homes and undermining the few tools parents have to regulate their child's viewing," Rendall said.


"The FCC report debunked the broadcast and cable industry's myth that a la carte programming is not feasible and that it would cause costs to rise.  Multichannel video distributors in other countries already sell cable channels in a more a la carte fashion.  In Hong Kong, consumers can select and pay for only the channels they want. A family who wants to watch sports, movies, news and children's programming can receive 15 free channels plus a selection of 11 additional digital channels including ESPN, HBO, CNN Headline News, National Geographic, Animal Planet, and Discovery for only $27.50 per month. To get the same channels in Washington, D.C. would cost $82.00 per month."


"Violence on television is associated with an increase in aggressive or violent behavior in children.  If implemented, the FCC's recommendation will provide parents the ability to control what their children will watch on television.  This freedom of choice can only help to serve the greater good," concluded Rendall.  


Concerned Women for America is the nation's largest public policy women's organization.