Rockefeller schedules hearing on Cable Act

Rockefeller said he intends to look at “how we make sure that consumers do not continue to get caught in the crossfire in programming disputes, facing dark screens and losing access to news, sports, and other entertainment programming.”


Slated to testify is a lineup of top cable and broadcasting executives, as well as consumer advocates. The witnesses include Melinda Witmer, chief video and content officer at Time Warner Cable, National Association of Broadcasters Chief Executive Gordon Smith, American Cable Association Chairwoman Colleen Abdoulah, and Martin Franks, executive vice president for planning, policy and government affairs at CBS Corporation. 

Mark Cooper, research director at the Consumer Federation of America, and Preston Padden, an adjunct professor at the University of Colorado School of Law, will also testify. Padden also had a extensive career in the media industry and formerly served as the president of ABC’s television network and a top executive in the Walt Disney Company’s government relations shop.

The House has also looked into the same issue. The House Energy and Commerce’s panel on communications and technology held a hearing last month that examined whether lawmakers should overhaul rules governing the distribution of video services. 

This story was updated at 7:27 p.m.