Jewish World Review May 5, 2003 / 3 Iyar, 5763
ESPN rate hikes and those who'd fool the FCC
It is that time of year again, the Walt Disney Company is raising its
ESPN rates by 20 percent.
Cable operators will be getting their new ESPN bills
soon and the so called world wide leader in sports will cost
about $2.50 a month for the average cable operator, who in turn
will pass the cost of the rate hike plus whatever their mark up
onto the consumer, whether that customer wants the
product of not.
That's how the cable monopoly operates. You take what they
give you or you don't have cable. ESPN's annual rate hike comes
just before Michael Powell and his fcc commissioners vote on
whether or not to further consolidate the communications
industry, particularly TV ownership.
want less restrictions on how many TV stations a network
can own because network TV owners feel they can't compete
with cable TV under the current rules.
There's one problem, though.
The networks, ABC, CBS, Fox, NBC and AOL Time Warner own the
majority of the cable networks.
ABC's most profitable TV
business is ESPN.
Can the FCC be that easily fooled? The answer
appears to be "yes."
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JWR contributor Evan Weiner is a radio commentator on "The Business
of Sports" for Westwood One's Metro Networks. He is being presented with the United States Sports Academy's Distinguished Service Award for 2003. Comment on this column by clicking here.
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© 2003, Evan Weiner