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Judge bars city from carrying news channel in cable

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  1. First Amendment
Judge bars city from carrying news channel in cable11/04/96 NEW YORK--A federal District Court judge in mid-October temporarily barred the…

Judge bars city from carrying news channel in cable

11/04/96

NEW YORK–A federal District Court judge in mid-October temporarily barred the city of New York from carrying News Corp.’s Fox News Channel on one of its public channels. The judge said the federal Cable Television Act did not allow a local government to control on-air programming, The Associated Press reported.

Because of Time Warner Cable’s refusal to carry Fox News on the New York cable system, which Time Warner Inc. controls, Mayor Rudolph Giuliani ordered that the Fox channel be carried on one of the five government-owned channels set aside for public service and educational programs.

Time Warner then sued the city in federal District Court in New York City. After granting a temporary restraining order, Judge Denise Cote in late October heard testimony and arguments on whether to permanently enjoin the city from including the Fox channel among its public channels. She told the parties she would rule on the matter soon.

News Corp., which is owned by Rupert Murdoch, has also filed a lawsuit against Time Warner. News Corp. alleges that Time Warner violated antitrust laws when, two weeks after it acquired Turner Broadcasting, it decided to carry MSNBC rather than the Fox channel, in violation of a written, although unsigned, contract. (Time Warner Cable v. City of New York; Media Counsel: Cravath, Swaine & Moore, New York)