Cable Television Reregulation
Mar 14, 1991
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The committee heard testimony on Senate Bill 12, the Cable Television Consumer Protection Act of 1991. The bill was designed to regulate the prices and quality of cable television services, many of which existed as monopolies .. Read More
The committee heard testimony on Senate Bill 12, the Cable Television Consumer Protection Act of 1991. The bill was designed to regulate the prices and quality of cable television services, many of which existed as monopolies within the areas of their service.
Mr. Adkisson and Mr. Sharp explained the problems that faced municipalities who have only one cable television supplier and must then deal with the cable operator on the operator’s terms in regards to pricing and franchise renewal.
Mr. Mooney, Mr. Turner, and Mr. Kennedy argued against S. 12, and advocated that action on cable pricing and services be dealt with by the FCC. Mr. Mooney said higher prices reflected a rise in cable television stations and services, a rise in cable television technology, and improvement in customer service standards. Mr. Kennedy said that cable television rates were kept artificially low during the period before cable television deregulation in 1984. Mr. Turner said cable television services were higher, in terms of programming and technology, than they had been previously. He also said that free broadcasting already provided competition to cable viewership, so reregulation was not necessary.
Mr. Fritts and Mr. Hedlund spoke in favor of cable regulation and argued that cable television monopolies hurt broadcasters by keeping technological advances and rights to rebroadcasting of programming for themselves. Mr. Schmidt advocated in favor of S.B. 12, which he said would be effective in reinstituting competition among cable systems in the marketplace.