Sunday, March 23, 2014

WGA Fights Comcast

For some reason, the Guild has issues with Comcast owning most of the distribution pipeline.

The Writers Guild of America has offered a chilling picture of the future of television to the Federal Communications Commission in a bid to block the proposed Comcast-Time Warner Cable merger.

In February, Comcast agreed to buy Time Warner Cable for $45 billion in a deal that would combine the two largest cable companies in the United States. The deal must still be approved by the FCC. ...

The WGA noted in its brief that the television industry is all ready consolidated enough, and that more mega-mergers would only harm viewers and limit their choices.

“The market for delivery of video programming remains consolidated and lacks sufficient competition at all levels,” the guild said. “This outcome is a result of deregulation and consolidation through vertical and horizontal mergers. Broadcast, cable and pay TV networks are owned by a handful of companies.

“The repeal of the Financial Interest and Syndication Rules in 1995 led to the consolidation of studios and networks. At the time of the repeal, the broadcast networks argued that increased competition from cable networks justified retiring the rules. The proliferation of cable channels, however, has not increased competition: seven companies, five of which own broadcast networks, are responsible for 95% of all television viewing in the United States. ...

Silly WGA. Doesn't it know that we live in a corporatist state? And that companies with money and juice get what they want?

It's about the conglomerates, to the exclusion of most everything else. I would be very surprised if the FCC lurches out of its stupor and blocks this deal.


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