A new measure being pushed by Louisiana Republican Rep. Steve Scalise to deregulate cable and satellite companies could threaten the livelihood of televangelists, who benefit from the current "must carry" rules.
Scalise believes the rules passed in 1992 have served their purpose by providing Americans with so many television viewing choices that it's no longer necessary for the government to mandate
what cable companies carry, the National Journal reports.
Under the current "must carry" rules, cable and satellite companies are required to carry local broadcast affiliates, which carry the majority of televangelists' sermons. If the rules are scrapped, cable companies would no longer have to broadcast these stations, and the channels could easily be replaced by a channel the cable or satellite company deems would be more profitable.
According to National Religious Broadcasters President Jerry Johnson, such a change "would be a significant detriment to a number of Christian TV stations and the viewers who rely on them for spiritual guidance."
"These long-standing carriage rules ensure that viewers can access the important and edifying programming their local Christian broadcasters offer free-of-charge," he added.
Stephen Bell, communications director for Scalise, told National Journal that religious and other "noncommercial" stations would still be protected by the "must carry" rules, but did not specify which stations would be exempt.
© 2014 Newsmax. All rights reserved.