Friday, February 02, 2007

FCC's Martin: Softening On Satellite Mergers?

FCC Head: Satellite's OK, Cable? Well...
www.skyREPORT.com, Feb 2, 2007

During an oversight hearing held by the Senate Commerce Committee Thursday morning, Federal Communications Commission Chairman Kevin Martin had nothing but kudos for the various satellite businesses.

He told the panel that DBS today "provides consumers an important competitive choice. And satellite offerings are sometimes the only multichannel video option for rural Americans." Martin also had good things to say about satellite radio.

However, in his prepared remarks, Martin complained about cable prices going up "at a disproportionate rate - 38 percent between 2000 and 2005 - when compared against other communications sectors." And he offered support for a la carte programming options for consumers.

Martin also pointed to broadcast digital technology, including a small mention of multicast, and how the advances could benefit consumers. He said with digital spectrum television broadcasters can offer high def programming, multiple programming streams, data services and video over mobile devices.

"Many of these business plans are in their infancy, with revenue streams uncertain, while the costs of the transition are large and immediate," Martin said. "And those costs come at a time of increased competition for advertisers from other media - many of which, unlike broadcasters, have a subscription revenue stream in addition to advertising revenue."...read more: here

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2/02/2007 08:57:00 AM

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