How much TV is too much? That’s a question Federal Communications Commission members will be struggling with as they draft new limits on media mergers.

In their fight for rules that would prevent more media consolidation, consumer groups are demanding that the FCC factor in the exponential growth in programming TV station groups can deliver as broadcasters switch to digital. Digital TV allows broadcasters to cram some six channels into the spectrum one analog channel requires. Coupled with ownership deregulation, Washington could hand stations a one-two punch that would allow media giants to own 12, even 18, programming streams in a market.

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