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[[caption of picture]] Commissioner Benjamin Hooks of the Federal Communications Commission, left, congratulates Livingston L. Wingate, Executive Director of the New York Urban League, following his testimony in opposition to Pay-Cable television before the FCC last Oct. [[body text]] "I could never agree that the poor, who will always be with us; the aged and those who are confined because of illness or otherwise, after investing millions of dollars in television sets on the assumption that programming would remain free to the viewer, should now or in the future be required to pay what to them would be costly fees, to see these programs. "Television has become the principal source of information for the nation's poor, the aged, the racial minorities, and the confined - those who cannot afford the more costly forms of entertainment outside of the home. If this Commission relaxes its anti-siphoning rules, it is these people who will be the most hurt, while the only one benefiting will be the Pay-TV operators who stand to make huge profits at the expense of the poor. "This is not a healthy condition in which to bring up children in the home. While some children would be boasting of the shows they saw or the games they watched on their Pay-TV sets, the less fortunate would have one more reason to hate and face the realization that they are not equal. This is not America in 1974 as it approaches its celebration in 1976." -Dorothy Height, President National Council of Negro Women "What we are objecting to is the dreadful thought that what we now see for free will be siphoned off by the cable owners without remuneration to the commercial broadcasters, and brought into our homes where we will be told "If you want to see the World Series; if you want to see this championship fight; if you want to see Cicely Tyson in the Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman, put three, four or five dollars as the case may be, in the little box atop your TV. "You will be saying to our kids, most of whom come from poor or deprived homes: "If you want to see Wilt Chamberlain, Vida Blue, Joe Namath, or Hank Aaron, tell your parents to fork up some dough. For if the anti-siphoning rules are relaxed, and top movies, top sports and our favorite variety shows are allowed to be siphoned off by the pay TV operators, we can say goodbye for our kids to the continuation of these programs, or they can run out, snatch a purse, and come back home and put the money in the slot to see what they can now see for Free!" -Lois Alexander, President National Association of Media Women "I believe it is the public interest that the nation's airways should remain in the ownership of the American people. The American public has invested millions of dollars in television sets on the assumption that programming would remain free to the viewer - I feel that we have an obligation to fulfill this commitment to the public. "Television has become the principal source of recreation and of information for the nation's poor, the racial minorities, and other disadvantaged- those Americans who cannot afford the more costly forms of entertainment outside the home. The distinct probabilities are the pay TV will siphon off programs having wide audience appeal and while those who could afford the cost would suffer no deprivation, the poor would have to content themselves with those programs with insufficient appeal to sell in the market. The day of class distinctions in television viewing would have arrived. "The advocates of pay television, who have much to gain by the adoption of pay-as-you-view television admit that approximately 30 percent of all families in this country could not afford pay television. "I can only assure you that the people I know best would be the losers if pay television were to come to pass. Not only would their interests be passed over once again by those who should be representing them, all the viewers of this nation would be harmed for the sake of a few. No action should be taken by government which would have the effect of further dividing the American people." -Terry A. Francois, Supervisor City and County of San Francisco
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