ALBANY � In a costly setbackfor the cable television industry, the State Tax Appeals Tribunal ruledthat all cable companies are primarily in the entertainment business andare not entitled to the lower corporate tax rate provided for transmissioncompanies.

NewChannels Corp., a cableoperator in the Syracuse area, argued that tax officials should distinguishbetween companies that produce programs for cable television and companies,like itself, which merely serve as the “transmission conduit” to distributethose programs to subscribers through cable networks.