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SHORT TAKES : Senators Introduce Cable TV Bill

November 15, 1989|From Times staff and wire service reports

WASHINGTON — A bill that seeks to increase competition in the cable television industry through federal regulation was introduced today by 15 senators.

The sponsors said they were acting in response to sharp increases in cable TV rates and rising complaints about service since the industry was largely deregulated in 1984.

"The growing concentration of ownership in the cable television marketplace has led to charges of unfair competition," said Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz).

McCain said rates were up an average 29% nationally in the past three years with many areas even higher.

The bill would prohibit cable programmers from discriminating against cable competitors, such as microwave broadcasters and satellite dish owners, and would limit the size of multiple cable system operators to 15% of the nation's cable subscribers.

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