Saturday, February 15, 2014

Bill Maher's Warning

The subject of the Comcast/Time Warner merger/takeover came up for a brief discussion last night.  It might have been the seminal issue of the show but Maher and his panel didn't really dwell on it.  While I haven't been able to locate a clip of it yet, here's the gist of what was mentioned.

Maher noted that Comcast and Time Warner were the Number 1 and Number 2 cable providers in America and also the worst rated in customer satisfaction.  The merger/takeover means customers in many American cities will not have just one cable provider, no choice whatsoever.

The host also noted that, in the 1990s, America had about 50-major media companies and they've now been boiled down to less than ten.  Worse yet, the service providers have now also morphed into content providers (a situation we have in Canada) meaning the big operators not only get near monopoly control on your access to television but also on what you can or cannot watch.

Diversity?  Nope.  Range of opinion?  No, that's no longer available.  And informed electorate?  Not if they can help it.

Meanwhile, The New York Times reports the Comcast/Time Warner deal may be about to set off a tsunami of consolidation in smaller media companies.  AlterNet has a dandy expose, "10-Even Worse Things You Don't Know..."

--  I'll try to locate a clip of that discussion and post it this week.

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