ERIC Number: ED166762
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1979-Jan
Reference Count: N/A
CATV and the Broadcasters.
Competition between cable television systems (CATV) and regular broadcast stations concerns pay-TV and distant signal importation. The pay-TV that CATV provides competes with the networks by "siphoning" away sports and feature films, while the distant signals that CATV imports to a local market "fragment" the local audience and thus reduce the value of a local broadcast license. The networks have been able to fight the threat of siphoning by using "exclusive" contracts to secure the broadcast rights to feature films and sports events; but as more viewers subscribe to CATV services, CATV will increase its ability to bid for and to acquire similar rights. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC), which previously protected networks and local stations from CATV competition, has trended toward deregulation of CATV during the past few years. Three changes that the FCC has initiated reflect this trend: changing the criterion for local broadcast protection from signal strength to standard distance limits, endorsing a policy that enables "superstations" (independent local stations picked up by CATV) to compete directly with networks for advertising dollars, and shifting the burden of proof in legal cases about signal importation from the cable systems to the local stations, who must now prove that economic hardship results from signal importation. What remains to be seen is whether these trends and changes in broadcast quantity will have any effects on broadcast quality. (RL)
Publication Type: Information Analyses; Collected Works - Serials
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Freedom of Information Center, Columbia, MO.