DirecTV lobbied on digital TV switch

March 22, 2008 5:50:32 PM PDT
Satellite-television provider DirecTV Group Inc. spent more than $1.2 million in 2007 to lobby on the nation's switch next year from an analog to a digital TV format. Broadcasters, cable operators and satellite providers are in the midst of an advertising campaign to educate consumers about the transition scheduled for Feb. 17, 2009.

Cable and satellite companies say viewers will be unaffected by the transition because they will provide devices that will work with old analog TVs. But viewers who get free, over-the-air programming will need to buy converter boxes now available in stores. The government is providing coupons to consumers to help pay for such devices.

DirecTV spent $600,000 in the second half of 2007 to lobby Congress, the Federal Communications Commission and National Telecommunications and Information Administration, according to a disclosure form posted online Feb. 14 by the Senate's public records office. It also lobbied on indecent programming, Internet tax legislation and free trade matters.

The company spent $640,000 in the first six months of 2007 to lobby on largely the same issues.

Lobbyists are required to disclose activities that could influence members of the executive and legislative branches, under a federal law enacted in 1995.


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