Democrats Are From Cablevision & Republicans Are From Fox In Retransmission Fee Dispute?

from the republicrats dept

One of the nice things about most tech issues is that they’re not split down typical political party lines. In practice, tragically, that sometimes means that both of the major political parties side with rent-seeking interests, rather than the public good, but in other cases, it does mean that you can get actually cross-party discussion on the issues, rather than the talking points. However, it seems that whenever any particular issue gets “big enough,” it suddenly has to break down on party lines. We saw it happen with net neutrality, but now it appears to be happening on the whole silly retransmission fight between cable companies and TV networks. As mentioned, these fights break out every few months, with both the networks and the cable companies blaming each other. In the end, consumers end up with higher prices either way. The whole fight itself is silly, but when TV stations get blocked during key sporting events (football, baseball playoffs), apparently Congress immediately sees an issue worth grandstanding over.

And, as Broadband Reports notes, at least in the case of Cablevision/Fox, it’s become a partisan issue, with Democrats lining up behind Cablevision, introducing legislation that would bar broadcasters from pulling channels during negotiations. Meanwhile, Republicans are being lobbied heavily by News Corp to take its side. It could just be that it’s because this is News Corp./Fox, which tends to support Republicans. So it will be interesting to see if similar battles involving other broadcasters split along similar lines…

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Companies: cablevision, fox, news corp

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Comments on “Democrats Are From Cablevision & Republicans Are From Fox In Retransmission Fee Dispute?”

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zaven (profile) says:

No Libertarians

I have to say I’m interested to see how this whole thing plays out but as always, the customers are the ones that get screwed when this happens. Less channels but we still pay the same amount on the bill?

As for the political standing, I always thought most people who really give a damn about tech issues seem to lean towards the Libertarian point of view. And everyone else just tends to think of us as paranoid wackos. At least, this is my experience.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: No Libertarians

Never understood the term “consumers getting screwed,” in situations like this. If you don’t like your service, pull your money. Money speaks loud and clear to corporations. 20,000 people pull their cablevision monthlies, people will notice.

Just pull your money, it’s the loudest and clearest way to speak to a corporation.

Stuart (profile) says:

Re: Re:

It is if they can get it.
It is not a problem if I want to sell my stuff for what I think it is worth. If I price it to high people will not buy it. Why the fuck do you care how much entity A wants to charge entity B for it services. 2 PRIVATE companies negotiating. It is a fucking crime that congress would step in either way here.

Ima Fish (profile) says:

Re: Paywalls

Do cable subscribers realize that you can get Fox for free with a set of rabbit ears

No. The current generation of TV viewers are about three decades removed from the days when we received all TV from antennas. I’d guess that 99% of people under 25 would have no clue that you can get HD network television for free. 95% for those under 30.

Anonymous Coward says:

I gave up cable in lieu of Broadcast Digital. Now I get PBS hah. The best damn programming around and I get 4 channels of it on broadcast TV for free. I don’t get $65.00 a month bills. I don’t get shutoff notices. I just watch TV. When I had Cable I had tons of channels with lots of reruns and commercials. Then on Saturday and Sunday morning I got tons of 1/2 hour Paid Advertisements. I paid all that money to watch a bunch of ads. I’ll pass. People with lives don’t have that much time to watch TV anyway.

Anonymous Coward says:

Remember when that bill about loud TV commercials showed up? Now we get a bill to stop cable companies from cutting service in the middle of big sports events. Apparently, somewhere along the line we elected a congress full of couch potatoes, and they’re writing laws into effect to improve their viewing experience.
If we get a bill a couple of months from now specifically banning a handful of particularly annoying commercials, I’ll probably laugh my head off.

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