Lawmakers never thought they would end up the principal victims of a 1992 law that requires cable-TV systems to carry local broadcast stations. To make room for local programming, a number of systems, especially smaller ones with limited channel capacity, have pulled the plug on C-SPAN, which covers Congress. Officials of the public-affairs network say that 800,000 cable viewers have lost access to gavel-to-gavel coverage of Congress. C-SPAN itself and a legion of C-SPAN junkies are mounting a legal challenge to overturn the "must carry" legislation and give them back their favorite channels.
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