ACI in Real Clear Policy: What TV Blackouts Have To Do With Mobile Phone Data

Zack Christenson writes an excellent piece on the findings of a recent ACI study that show how broadcast TV regulations will interfere with the upcoming spectrum auctions and will lead to massive consumer welfare losses for wireless broadband consumers.  To read the piece, visit Real Clear Policy.  ACI’s research study on this topic is available […]

Retransmission Consent Regulations Will Lead to a Half Trillion in Consumer Welfare Losses

ACI Study Finds Retransmission Consent Will Discourage Broadcasters from Spectrum Auctions Could Lead to One-Half Trillion in Consumer Welfare Losses  WASHINGTON, DC (December 4, 2013) – A new study by the American Consumer Institute Center for Citizen Research (ACI) finds that regulations put in place over twenty years ago to protect TV broadcast stations from […]

CBS Blackout Harms Consumers: Statement by the American Consumer Institute

Current regulations unfairly give local broadcast stations the upper hand in negotiations with cable distributors over the payment of programming.  This has led to massive blackouts and much higher prices for consumers, and the recent CBS blackout of Time Warner’s cable customers is yet another example of this problem. One major reason for strained negotiations […]

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 Legislation Aims to Lower Broadcaster Market Power

This past Friday, legislation was introduced into both the House and Senate that would reform the television industry, doing away with what many say are outdated and onerous regulations that are hampering innovation and fair competition between multichannel video programming distributors (MVPDs) and broadcasters, in addition to curbing the ability of broadcasters to compete in […]

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 […]

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 […]

Government Failure – FCC Should Stop Imposing Costly Set Top Box Regulations

If consumers understood the complex regulations their cable box has endured at the hands of the Federal Communications Commission, they’d be shocked at the price tag associated with these burdensome regulations.  As part of the Telecommunications Act of 1996, the FCC was tasked with creating a policy for cable hardware technology that would open the […]

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 […]