Level Playing Field Between Cable, Dish (1 Viewer)

silversurfer

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Supporting Founder
Supporting Founder
Sep 8, 2003
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Las Vegas, Nevada
By Phillip Swann

The General Accounting Office, often called the investigative arm of Congress, recently issued a study saying that cable TV rates have jumped 40 percent in the past five years. The biggest reason, according to the GAO: lack of competition.

Well, the investigative arm didn't have to reach far for that conclusion, did it? Despite the growth of satellite TV, cable TV operators enjoy a virtual monopoly in many U.S. markets, as most everyone knows. For various reasons, including residential restrictions and the lack of local channels in some areas, many consumers still do not see the dish as an alternative.

So rather than spending our tax dollars on a GAO "investigation" that could have been solved by Inspector Clouseau, Congress-and the Federal Communications Commission-should take steps to level the playing field. For instance:

Approve the Murdoch-DirecTV Deal: Rupert Murdoch's News Corp. last spring purchased control of DirecTV, the nation's largest satellite TV service. The media mogul is expected to spend a small fortune on new interactive services to better compete with cable. However, the FCC, still smarting over criticism of its media ownership vote, is proceeding cautiously on approving the deal.

The agency needs to get off its duff and get it done.

Relax the Network Restrictions on Satellite

TV: DirecTV and EchoStar recently added local channel feeds for dozens of cities, with many more coming in 2004.

However, it might be years before the satellite TV services have the bandwidth to deliver local HDTV feeds from broadcast networks such as CBS.

The companies could offer a national hi-def signal for each broadcast network (from New York or Los Angeles, for instance). This would guarantee that dish owners would get their favorite network shows and sporting events in hi-def. However, federal law prohibits the satcasters from offering "out of market" local feeds unless the customer can prove that he cannot receive his local channels via an off-air antenna.

With HDTV sales expected to jump in the next few years, cable TV, which does have the technical capacity to deliver local hi-def, could have a big advantage. Congress needs to amend the "out of market" network restriction and permit the satellite TV services to offer national hi-def signals. Now.

Give Competition a Chance: Of course, cable TV operators are opposing the Murdoch-DirecTV deal as well as the lifting of the network restrictions. They say the satellite TV business already has an advantage because it does not have to meet stringent regulations set by local governments. For example, cable operators have to agree to broadcast city council sessions to win a city's cable franchise.

For the entire article click here
 

Stargazer

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Supporting Founder
Sep 7, 2003
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Western WV
How about offering a national HD feed for each network for those that have their locals available on satellite and when a commercial or local news comes on have it switch over from the HD national feed to your local station.
 

EdV

SatelliteGuys Family
Sep 9, 2003
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Stargazer said:
How about offering a national HD feed for each network for those that have their locals available on satellite and when a commercial or local news comes on have it switch over from the HD national feed to your local station.

Although that is technically feasible, building a system with hundreds of independently operated feeds all time synched to new HD receivers that can switch instantly and seamlessly between the HD and SD channels is not likely to happen.
 
G

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From the article...
"...satellite TV already has an advantage because it does not have to meet stringent regulations set by local governments. For example, cable operators have to agree to broadcast city council sessions to win a city's cable franchise."
Just how does having to allot one channel to 'local access' put cables at a disadvantage with respect to DBS providers who must also allot bandwidth to 'public interest' channels?

Cable operators tent to lose market share when they arbitrarily raise rates to the point where they force their customers to seek more affordable alternatives.

As to the so-called "stringent regulations" cables supposedly must meet, a cable franchise is in reality a cash cow for the operator, just as sat tv is for DBS providers. How either manages (or mismanages) their gross revenues is a story for another thread.
 

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