Cable ownership reform
September 1, 2005
 

Cable companies are big and only want to get bigger. The FCC has the ability to uphold rules already in place and cap the media giants' greed. However, this will only happen if we contact the FCC and let them know that citizens demand they do so.

These companies charge us whatever they want and dictate what we see. We need the FCC to uphold the current rules that ensure a cable company cannot own more than 30 percent of the nationwide market share. Lend your voice now to ensure better media competition and a greater diversity of views.

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is considering whether it should allow big cable companies to get even bigger.  According to the Consumer Electronics Association nearly ninety percent of U.S. homes receive their television via cable or satellite.  Cable companies are already too big, too greedy and too focused on their bottom lines to care whether the American public gets the diversity of programming and information it needs to participate in public life.  We need to send a strong message to the FCC today and let them know that they should not allow cable companies to get any larger.  We need the FCC to uphold the current rules that ensure a cable company cannot own more than 30 percent of the nationwide market share.  Email the FCC today by clicking on the following link:

http://www.commoncause.org/ShakeuptheFCC

We need to contact the FCC and urge them to maintain the current regulation on giant cable companies for two important reasons.  First, cable companies have been abusing their monopoly status by raising rates at three times the rate of inflation.  They have been raking in billions by forcing customers to pay for channels they do not want, and by controlling what viewers see, discriminating against independent programmers and new networks.  Second, the FCC also needs to reign in these giant cable companies to make sure cable executives are not suppressing a particular political point of view, or that they are not targeting all of their programming to just one demographic, catering to advertisers' demands.  These types of abuses often take place because cable companies are permitted to own both the program content and the sole means of distribution in the market areas they dominate.  They essentially act as gatekeepers in terms of what programs get on the air. 

Allowing cable companies to get even larger would only exacerbate these problems.  That is why it is so important that we get the public involved in this debate.  Contact the FCC today and then encourage everyone you know to join us in urging the FCC to keep their leash on the cable giants:

http://www.commoncause.org/ForwardFCCAction

Cable giants like Comcast and Time Warner just want to get bigger.  In fact they are carving up former competitors like Adelphia in such a way that they will not have to compete with each other in any one marketófurther reducing competition and increasing their profit.  If the FCC approves a merger between Comcast and Time Warner, the two companies will control nearly 50 percent of the national market.  We cannot allow cable operators, who can already charge us what they want and dictate what we see, to get even bigger.  Defeating efforts to deregulate cable is important for our democracy and our pocket books.  Please contact the FCC today and urge them to keep the 30 percent cap on cable companies:

http://www.commoncause.org/ShakeuptheFCC

Writing the FCC does matter.  Several million Americans flooded the FCC with comments back in 2003 when former Chairman Michael Powell tried to deregulate the media ownership rules behind the publicís back.  We were able to put the once obscure agency under a microscope.  It is time we do so again so that we can do our part as public citizens to ensure both that the FCC enacts rules to limit giant cable companies' ability to control carriage and content and that cable is affordable for all of our communities.

Thank you again for all you do to protect our democracy.