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SBCA Informs FCC on Satellite TV’s Parental Control Capabilities

Alexandria, Va., Oct. 18, 2004 – The Satellite Broadcasting and Communications Association (SBCA) filed comments last Friday with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) regarding the Commission’s Notice of Inquiry (NOI) on violent television programming and its impact on children. SBCA commended the FCC for publicly addressing such an important yet sensitive topic, however SBCA also urged the FCC to consider technical, jurisdictional, and constitutional concerns before taking any regulatory action on this matter.
In its comments, SBCA referenced the leadership of the DBS industry in the advancement of parental controls, highlighting the fact that parental control functionality has been available in all DBS set-top boxes since the industry’s inception in 1994. SBCA’s comments are intended to provide a record at the FCC of the satellite industry’s investment in technology and measures that respond to consumer’s concerns about programming content through innovative marketplace solutions. SBCA argued since DBS provides tools and educates parents on the functionality of set-top box controls additional regulation is unwarranted.
DBS offers a wide variety of programming and protection options to all television viewers. We have led the way in providing the appropriate tools needed to enable families to make the decisions on what content they choose bring into their home, not the government,” said Richard DalBello, president SBCA. “Consumers want to have control over their viewing options and DBS has responded to their wishes while presenting them with the technology to safeguard their children.”

The satellite services industry has continually advanced and expanded parental control technologies, which are both user friendly and incorporate the Motion Picture Association of America’s Ratings and the TV industry’s TV Rating Guidelines as control parameters. Although Congress and the FCC do not mandate or offer incentives to incorporate these above-and-beyond measures, the satellite services industry viewed these controls as critical and thus implemented them on its own accord.
SBCA also participated in a separate filing on this issue with the American Association of Advertising Agencies, the American Advertising Federation, the Association of National Advertisers, Inc., the Motion Picture Association of America, and the National Association of Broadcasters.

The Satellite Broadcasting and Communications Association is the national trade organization representing all segments of the satellite industry. It is committed to expanding the utilization of satellite technology for the broadcast delivery of video, audio, data, music, voice, interactive, and broadband services. The SBCA is composed of DBS, broadband, satellite radio, and other satellite services providers, content providers, equipment manufacturers, distributors, retailers, encryption vendors, and national and regional distribution companies that make up the satellite services industry. Additional information can be found at