Recap: Why the FCC Repack is Important for Consumers

Radio waves may be invisible to the naked eye, but the regulated spectrum of frequencies is one of America’s most important resources. To ensure that the nation’s infrastructure is ready to support emerging wireless technology, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has recently completed a spectrum ‘repack.’ In a webinar hosted earlier this week by the […]

ACI Blog in Real Clear Policy: Consumers Held Hostage in Cable Dispute

Zack Christenson, ACI’s tech writer, has a piece in today’s Real Clear Policy that discusses the problems with retransmission consent regulations.  The problems have led to yet another impasse in negotiations between cable providers and broadcasters.  The outcome will mean either higher prices for consumers or TV blackouts.  Either way, you know who loses.  You can read […]

Dishing out TV Advertising: The Dispute between Dish Network and Broadcasters

In early May, Dish Network launched a new service called Primetime Anytime, a service that would give consumers access to network television shows from the previous 8 days—minus the commercials.  The technology, dubbed “AutoHop,”allows a user to watch their favorite television shows without the hassle and annoyance of advertisements.  The broadcast networks quickly leapt into […]

Why Pay More For Cable TV Blackouts?

For the last two decades, video distribution networks (mostly cable and satellite) and video programmers (broadcast and non-broadcast TV channels) lived under rules that govern what distribution must be offered to content owners, and what content owners must allow distributors to carry – mostly subject to negotiated prices.  These regulations – called retransmission consent, compulsory […]

New ConsumerGram on Retransmission Consent and the Evidence of Market Power

This ConsumerGram provides evidence that broadcasters are increasing prices by at least four times the rate of inflation, and have done so over the course of several years.  This sustained rate of increase suggests that broadcasters are exerting market power – even over the largest cable TV providers, who should be in the best position […]

Spectrum Should Go To The Highest Bidder. Period.

Dropped calls and slow Internet service on smartphones will increasingly become the norm in today’s wireless world, due to the limited amount of spectrum available to wireless companies and the huge explosion in non-traditional wireless devices, such as the iPad and smartphones.  Mobile device  signals are run over radio frequency bands, similar to the way […]

A Failure to Negotiate

Few consumers realize the odd and strained relationship the FCC has created between cable companies and television stations.  When cable companies first sprang up in the 1950’s, the FCC paid little attention.  At first, cable was just local television, but with better reception.  At that time, the FCC determined it didn’t have regulatory jurisdiction over […]

Broadcasters and Market Power: Are Consumers Being Harmed?

Fox TV’s decision to blackout its programming from some Cablevision subscribers is affecting consumers in parts of New York, Philadelphia and nearby areas.  While the latest blackout stems from a breakdown in broadcast retransmission negotiations and the refusal of broadcasters use arbitration, the real losers here are consumers.  In 1992, lawmakers passed legislation designed to protect broadcasters against what […]