Still fuming from the WABC–Cablevision fiasco of two weeks ago that caused southern Brooklynites to miss Academy Awards’ slam-bang opening number, Fidler said he’s putting forward two City Council resolutions he hopes will change how cable companies haggle with networks in their continuing price war.
Every 10 years, cable companies re-negotiate their contracts with television networks. While the negotiations were supposed to take place in 2008, they were postponed to this year, explained Fidler, who said that the average viewer is the one who misses out when two titans like these clash over pricing.
“Over the last number of months, myself and other viewers have gotten increasingly pissed off with how the cable industry is running,” Fidler said. “They seem to hold viewers in a low regard. We’re being held hostage.”
In his resolutions, Fidler calls upon the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to pass a regulation that would ensure that any television company that broadcasts on the airwaves — like WABC or any other network television channel — cannot charge a cable provider any more than the cost of linking the channel up to the cable system.
What do you think? Should the city government be looking out for our entertainment interests? Or is this something that market forces would rectify on their own?