Televangelists Turn Pro-Sleaze When Spotlights Threatened

Televangelists Opposed to a la Carte Programming

from SpeakSpeak

Much of the vocal support for "a la carte" programming of cable and satellite TV has come from culture warriors on the Right.

The nanny brigade is facing dissent among its brethren, however. An LA Times article written by indecency watcher Jube Shriver notes that televangelists aren't too keen on the idea of a la carte programming.

Trying to preserve their electronic pulpits, the nation's religious broadcasters find themselves in the unusual position of fighting an effort by anti-indecency groups to thwart channels offering racy programming.

The issue involves a debate over whether cable companies should continue offering subscribers mainstream and niche channels in bundles, or let them buy what they want on an a la carte basis.

Consumer groups are pushing to let people choose their channels rather than pay for ones they don't watch. One Federal Communications Commission study showed people on average regularly watch only 17 of the more than 100 cable channels they typically receive.

But what started largely as a consumer issue has now morphed into a larger controversy involving whether cable operators should be required to continue exposing subscribers to niche channels, including religious ones, that people might not order on their own.

"We don't just want to preach to the choir; we want to reach the unchurched," said Paul Crouch Jr. of Trinity Broadcast Network in Santa Ana. "The bottom line is that we want to be everywhere on cable."

Christian broadcasters, including such big names as Pat Robertson and Jerry Falwell, worry that changing the current system will cut into viewership. If that puts them on the opposite side of where they usually stand in the indecency debate, Crouch said, "so be it."


Blogger mathyoo said...

Regardless of the content, I, as a consumer, should be able to purchase the service I want and not be forced to pay for services I don't want. Personally, I'm pissed off that Comcast carries so much religious programming, but then I wasn't even aware of it until I went through the channel list looking for something. We use the favorites menu all the time for channel surfing, so we skip over all the extraneous crap like religious programming, sports, and the billions of PPV channels.

December 01, 2005 3:12 AM  
Blogger Darren said...

And Spanish! Half my channels are either horrible Spanish variety shows or Vietnamese home shopping networks! Bastards!

December 01, 2005 1:40 PM  
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July 31, 2006 12:08 PM  

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