Last updated: February 21, 2008 - 3:04am
[SOURCE: Tales of the Sausage Factory, AUTHOR: Harold Feld]
[Commentary] A look at the FCC's approval of the sale of Adelphia cable TV assets two industry giants Comcast and Time Warner. Negotiations over the move delayed the FCC's meeting last week for 5 hours. The FCC did not adopt a network neutrality condition, they did not adopt a condition on PBS Sprout, allowing Comcast to get by with a voluntary commitment to make the programming available on a non-exclusive basis for the next three years. They acted on the Washington Nationals, and gave a nod to leased access. Find a detailed analysis of the conditions, which will expire in six years, at the URL below. Feld concludes: "So, all things considered, do I count this as a win? In the end, I have to wait for the final order to come out to know the full impact. We got a lot of stuff out of an order that could easily have been a catastrophe, even if we lost a skirmish in the Net Neutrality war and the media consolidation fight generally. So do I measure by what was reasonable to achieve in a 3-2 Republican administration, in which case this is a pretty amazing success? Or do I measure by the fact that, at the end of the day, Comcast and Time Warner got their merger through? As a long time Red Sox fan, allow me to offer a possible analogy. Red Sox fans consider it a bad season if the Sox don't make the playoffs. It's a good season if they make it to the play offs, a great season if they win the play offs (especially if they beat the Yankees along the way), and a once in a life time day of holy celebration if they win the World Series. On the â€œRed Soxâ€ scale, I place this somewhere between making the playoffs by beating the Yankess and actually winning the playoffs. If we'd gotten Network Neutrality as well, I'd have bumped it up to winning the playoffs." (Just one question from Chicagoland -- what are these 'playoffs' of which you speak?)
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