Thursday, December 13, 2007

FCC report announced, and it's a whopper

The US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) releases a major report on video competition approximately once a year. The latest was announced at the end of November, although is not yet posted on the FCC Web site. The FCC press release and summary is available here.

One of the five FCC commissioners, Jonathan Adelstein (** see below), said: "I have been deeply concerned about increasing concentration in the cable industry. I simply can’t see how American consumers benefit when a handful of vertically-integrated media giants have so much control over so much content. This industry structure provides precious little space for the creative genius of independent content producers and artists. And it has led to prices that continue to rise far faster than inflation." Mr Adelstein's full comments are available here.

Another, Michael Copps, said: "Our job of ascertaining the facts was made more difficult because the draft cherry-picked only the data that justified the outcome desired, while suppressing other data. I believe that it is our obligation to ensure that our decisions are objective and based on the facts, not outcomedriven for political expediency. Much like our media ownership studies, which are outcome-driven to support the media consolidation agenda, there was an attempt to cook the books on this report." Mr Copps' full statement is available here.

** The FCC is run by five Commissioners, one of whom is the Chairman. When the US president is a Republican, there are three Republicans on the FCC - as is the case now. Adelstein and Copps are the two Democrats. FCC Chairman Kevin Martin was on the Bush-Cheney Transition Team after Bush was confirmed as the winner of the 2000 presidential election by the US Supreme Court. He was confirmed as an FCC Commissioner in 2001 and became Chairman in 2005. The FCC is one of the most political agencies in the US govt. Its rulings have a fundamental impact on American media.

I made several entries about the machinations of the FCC on this Blog in November 07.

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