Congress, FCC privatized TV market control

Several years ago I took it upon myself to research the subject of how we got to where we are on the situation regarding Denver TV. Because of political pressures as cable and satellite TV emerged, Congress voted to turn over to the Federal Communications Commission the job of setting up rules and regulations on these industries. The networks went along with the deal. The FCC, in turn, turned the job over to the Neilson Corp. (now owned by a Dutch corporation).

Using the Demographic Marketing Area to determine signal distribution, there are at least seven different areas not unlike ours where residents of one state have to watch TV from another state. One that stands out is in Connecticut where Sen. Chris Dodd tried for years to get a local signal instead of a New York signal for residents. He left office without making it happen.

Having owned an advertising agency, I have an understanding of how rates are determined by media. If you were to wave a magic wand and we were to get Denver TV next week at the expense of New Mexico TV, the base rate for advertisers in New Mexico would drop by 12 percent to 15 percent on the cost per thousand basis. Now, you tell me how many New Mexico legislators would vote for a bill that would take away that much money from an industry that feeds the ego of these same politicians?

Perhaps itís time for congressional hearings as to why a foreign-owned entity can determine who watches what TV. As a side note, I paid an attorney to see if there was a possible lawsuit based on the fact that I was denied my rights to be informed on issues that affected my residency in Colorado. No deal.

Dennis Pierce


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