C-SPAN has asked to broadcast the arguments in the case testing the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act. Adam Liptak, a leading legal reporter, writes: Supreme Court TV? Nice Idea, but Still Not Likely (N.Y. Times, Nov. 28, 2011).
Liptak suggests that the Justices are leary of being reduced to sound bites, but he notes that "newspaper reporters use the text equivalent of sound bites all the time. We call them quotations."
TVW has broadcast (on cable, on DVD, and online) Washington Supreme Court oral arguments for many years with no apparent ill effects. You can watch arguments 1997-present here.
Graphic: screen capture from oral argument on TVW, dressed up a little in Paint, by mw.