The Faith and Family Broadcasting Coalition, a coalition of the nation’s leading religious television broadcasters, recently reiterated their opposition to the Obama Administration’s FCC using regulatory pressure to force cable companies to convert to a pay-per-channel or “a la carte” business model. Such a forced change would have a devastating effect on religious broadcasters, such as CBN, TBN and Inspiration Networks, which was founded by David Cerullo.
Press reports indicate that the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman intends to launch new regulations on the cable industry designed to force cable companies to radically alter their business model form tiered bundles of channels to a pay-per-channel, or “a la carte” business model.
News accounts indicate that claims may be made that the ”70/70″ threshold has been met from a 1984-era statute meant to prevent cable from gaining too much market power. The rule kicks in when cable systems with 36 or more channels are available to 70% of U.S. households and achieve a 70% penetration rate of those households. Such a finding would grant the FCC the power to further regulate cable and force the a la carte business model.
Given the nature of today’s subscription video marketplace, which includes Direct Broadcast Satellite, Verizon Communications’ FiOS TV and AT&T’s U-verse TV systems, and the entry of new fiber-optic Internet-based offerings and program streaming, relying on a 20-year-old program-diversity and rate regulation statute is out of place. Perhaps this is why some news reports state the FCC’s real intention in asserting the “70/70″ regulatory action is to pressure the cable industry to adopt a la carte regulations.
Ronn Torossian is the CEO of 5WPR, a leading PR firm and Author of “For Immediate Release”, a leading PR book.