LOS ANGELES (January 4, 2007) - The Parents Television Council™
welcomed the findings of the FCC's new report on cable industry
prices as evidence of the need for cable choice, which would allow
cable subscribers to pick and choose – and pay for – only the cable
networks the subscriber wants. The FCC's report found that cable
programming has continued to get more expensive, and it reaffirms
the chokehold that the media conglomerates have on consumers.
"This FCC report affirms what we've been saying for
the past few years: Cable prices are accelerating at exorbitant
rates, and the key driver behind the price increases is programming
– programming that is being forced onto consumers who have no say in
the matter," said Tim Winter, president of the PTC™. "Cable rates
have nearly doubled in 10 years. Not even the price of gasoline has
increased that much over that time period. Fortunately, the
nonsensical metric of ‘average rates per channel' has been stripped
from the FCC's analysis due to the fact that customers cannot
purchase channels individually."
"The cable industry continues to be the only industry
I know of that actively and openly lobbies the government in order
to prevent its own customers from getting what they want. Can you
imagine walking into a Wal-Mart with a shopping cart and having the
store employees, not you, determine what to put in your cart? If
that were the case, you wouldn't shop at Wal-Mart. But here you
have no option, as the same bundling scheme is present with cable
and with satellite and – now – with the telephone companies' video
"An overwhelming majority of families want to be able
to choose and pay for only the cable networks they want. So why is
it that we cannot pick and choose – and pay for – only the cable
networks we want in our homes? Because the cable network
programmers have a chokehold on the public. They make billions of
dollars every year by forcing consumers to pay them for channels
they don't watch, don't want, and may actually find offensive.
"The reality is that consumer prices would not go up
under cable choice. They would go down. Forced to compete for the
consumer's dollar, networks would be forced to deliver a better
product at a lower price. History seems a perfect guide: When in
the course of a free commercial market has competition resulted in
higher, not lower, consumer prices? Answer: Never.
"If the cable industry continues to force such
anti-competitive practices onto the consumer, then we have no choice
but to urge the new Congress to act quickly to provide consumers
with cable choice," Winter concluded.
To schedule an
interview with a PTC representative, please contact Kelly Oliver
(ext. 140) or Megan Franko (ext. 148) at (703) 683-5004.