TV Channel Bundles and A La Carte

Multichannel video programming distributors (MVPDs) such as cable and telephone video providers acquire the rights to distribute TV programs they obtain from broadcasters under a set of regulations called retransmission consent. MVPDs and broadcasters negotiate the fees for the retransmission and the fees are recouped in the MVPD monthly charges to consumers. The more popular […]

Consumer Choice Without Extra FCC Help

With the FCC thinking of imposing new regulations that would require all households to have a new cable box, it is worthwhile reviewing how consumers are already getting competitive choice in video entertainment without extra government help. Today consumers’ communications choices are like mosaic tiles in a box.  Consumers can pick any grouping that suits […]

Forbes: One Reform the FCC Should Avoid

Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman Tom Wheeler has been calling for the FCC to reconsider the broadcaster exclusivity rule. At first blush, getting rid of rules sounds like a good idea. Who doesn’t want more deregulation?  The problem is this isn’t the comprehensive video market reform that would unwind 70 years of video regulation in […]

ACI Letter to Senator Thune on STELA Reauthorization: Let’s First Have Comprehensive Reform

On June 7, 2014, The American Consumer Institute Center for Citizen Research submitted a letter to Senator Thune regarding the upcoming STELA reauthorization.  The text of the bill is as follows: ________________________________________________________   July 7, 2014 The Honorable John Thune United States Senate SD-511 Washington, DC 20510 Dear Senator Thune: As you consider STELA reauthorization, the American […]

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 […]

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 […]

Facing blackouts and Higher Programming Costs, Consumers Lose Due to Congressional Inaction

Just last week, a 2-month long dispute over carriage fees between Cablevision and Tribune Company was settled.  The settlement brings to an end the blackout of Fox and other Tribune TV stations in the tri-state area during the World Series.  When disputes between broadcasters and cable companies like these crop up (and they do with […]

Election Year Looting of Internet Bandwidth

Now that “Fast and Furious” is under control, the Department of Justice (DoJ) is probing whether cable TV is quashing online video competition from the likes of Netflix.  Cable sometimes wants both cable TV and Internet access subscriptions before it tolerates wide-downloads from non-cable movie sources.   As with bandwidth-confiscating Net Neutrality rules, DoJ and FCC […]

Christenson Writes on The Hill’s “Congress Blog”

Zack Christenson, a regular contributor for ACI, wrote an execellent piece on how cable/video service reforms will increase competition and benefit consumers.  Zack’s piece, published on THE HILL’s “Congress Blog” is available here.

Outdated Merger Regulations Holding Back Competition

The National Cable Telecommunications Association (NCTA) and other digital utility groups are fighting for their right to purchase potentially failing competitive local telephone companies to expand their customer and infrastructure base. The failing locals, their employees and their customers are fighting for the right to get purchased before running into the ground.  The only thing […]