The church leaders say they want a meeting with FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski on the matter, which the commission addressed in February when it said it would consider extending the rule. In a letter sent to the chairman last month, they wrote, "We would like to ensure that our content reaches everyone who would like to see it — including those consumers that cannot afford, or are not aware that they need, a new cable box."
But procedural matters mean that if the FCC doesn't act next week, religious programming from thousands of churches could be pulled from the airwaves unless they can afford to film with very expensive high-definition equipment.
The NCTA is being targeted because in a March filing with the commission, it argued that the rules are a legacy from the chaotic days of the transition to digital broadcast television, which have long passed, and now represent an anachronistic burden.
An NCTA spokesman told The Hill that he saw a small group of protestors attempting to picket NCTA's Massachusetts Avenue headquarters on Wednesday morning, but the spokesman said the group numbered around 25 and stayed for approximately 45 minutes.
Updated at 1:59 p.m.