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IN PERSPECTIVE: Shhh…

Sun, 11/30/2008 - 7:25pm
Brian Santo, Editor

Martin has justified nearly every edict and power play at the FCC as ultimately serving the free market, the public interest, or both.

Brian SantoI’m just failing to understand a whole mess of concepts here.

For instance, people say MSOs and networks fight like cats and dogs. Well, I’ve got a dog and two cats, and I’m here to testify that Buster, Kit and Haiku are like The Waltons compared to MSOs and networks.

Another thing I don’t get? The “free market” so many politicians yammer about – and I’m understanding that less than usual lately. And then there’s that “We’re Here To Serve The Public” thing we hear from certain politicians.

Not that we’ve got anybody in mind. But just as a thought experiment, let’s pick a politician at random, I dunno, say … Kevin Martin?

I’m sure you recall that Martin has justified nearly every edict and power play during his stint at the FCC as ultimately serving the free market, the public interest, or both. And maybe he actually believes it.

So that’s why I’m not getting why Martin is having such a hard time with this quiet period thing. If he’s on board with a quiet period kicking in later in January, then clearly “free market” principles are not an issue.

So he’s left with public interest. Knowing that retrans agreements between cable operators and networks lapse at the end of December, where’s the public interest in giving the networks two or three weeks during which they could pull their channels? And if Martin really trusts the networks when they say they won’t pull their channels, then waiting until after December is pointless.

I like it when things make sense, and from that standpoint, I, for one, am going to be really happy when Martin has to get a new job.

Of course, there’s always the careful-what-you-wish-for risk. But I digress…

brian.santo@advantagemedia.com

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