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Disney Unclarifies Its Clarification on Cable Regs

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  • Cable/Satellite
 by Amanda Toering — 04/18/2005 @ 8:43 am

After it was first reported that the Disney company (owner of ABC, ESPN, and other Mickey Mouse channels) supported the extension of indecency regulations to cable, Disney then backtracked and claimed it said no such thing.

Now it has said just that, sort of.

From Multichannel News:

If Congress passed a cable-indecency law, would The Walt Disney Co hire lawyers to fight the government or the cable industry?

“I can’t predict what’s going to happen in court,” said Preston Padden, Disney’s executive vice president of worldwide government relations.

Padden’s cautious guidance was telling — and another sign that in the ongoing indecency battle here, Disney is going its own way: If necessary to inject some fairness in the law, Disney would not object to indecency regulation of cable’s expanded-basic tier.

“We think whatever the law is in the area, it should treat broadcast and cable the same,” he said.


Disney’s approach to the indecency issue is somewhat nuanced. At the outset, Padden said he did not “wake up in the morning wishing we could get any channels regulated in terms of indecency.”

In fact, Disney prefers no indecency regulation, for cable or broadcasting. But from Disney’s perspective, the idea that cable remains immune from any regulation while the broadcast indecency vise is tightening is intolerable when today the vast majority of TV households subscribe to cable or satellite.


“We’re just asking for some logic to be applied,” Iger said. “We believe that if there are going to be rules — which we do oppose, by the way — they should be applied basically across the board to broadcast and to cable.”

More at Multichannel News.


  1. Sing it with me, people…


    I strong suspect that Disney would cave if they were told they had to deal with new unconstitutional cable regulations. Oh they’d protest the regs, and they’d vocally support any legal challenge to them. But they wouldn’t put their necks on the line.

    Comment by David 2 — 4/18/2005 @ 1:31 pm

  2. People don’t have to subscribe to cable.

    If they choose to, they can opt to only get broadcast channels over cable.

    I’m not buying a distinction between so-called “Basic Cable” and “Premium Cable” regarding indecency. People can have cable and get neither, or not subscribe to cable at all.

    Comment by Eric J in MN — 4/19/2005 @ 7:28 am

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