Document Type


Publication Date

Spring 1985


After three decades of what Chief Justice Burger termed ‘the almost explosive development’ of cable television, Congress updated the Communications Act of 1934 with the Cable Communications Policy Act of 1984. The Act represents the culmination of a ‘decade long effort to update the Communications Act of 1934 . . . and bring our outdated communications laws into the information age.’ The 1984 Cable Act was a complicated piece of legislation, the result of countless compromises and political deals. This Article explains how Congress attempted to balance the competing, and sometimes mutually exclusive, interests of the cable operators, cities, video programmers, and the viewing public.