Content, It’s Medium and the FCC

Today the AP released a new consumer technology poll about TV Subscribers that was backed by the National Association of Broadcasters

Here are some numbers that really stood out to me:

-51% percent of Americans get TV via cable, 27% get it from satellite while 22% still get it from over the air antennas

So you are asking why this really matters? Well, from my point of view, the FCC is technically only regulationg 22% of the homes that are watching TV. The other 78% of the public is getting their TV from NON FCC Licensed mediums! Why is it they still have such a firm hold on what goes out on the tube nowadays?

When TV was created 50 years ago, all of it’s content was delivered through the airwaves that the government owned. They not only license out their use, but also regulates the content that was sent over them. (this began with radio) As “cable TV” hit the mainstream in the 80’s, a drastic change began that is still evolving today. More and more of TV and it’s “content” were being delivered in other ways than the FCC’s licensed and regulated airwaves. Cable has continued to struggle making this differentiation and still pretty much follows the FCC’s decency rules. Notable exceptions are the premium channels such as HBO and Showtime as well as the cable network F/X. The bottom line is though, the FCC should not have control over the “content” that is delivered through this medium. It’s not using the airwaves. Some will argue that it is the sponsors that are now implying their own indecency rules, but that’s a whole other conversation.

Ultimately, “content” has evolved from the radio, to the broadcast TV, cable TV, Satellite TV, Satellite radio and of course the Internet. With today’s wired and satellite world, the delivery methods will continue to change and what is and can actually be regulated by the FCC will be minimal. Just look at the Internet today and what you can find, read, see and do on it. “Content” as a whole will be available at your fingertips, when and where you want it!

Who is going regulate the Internet and the changing content mediums? YOU DO!!! You control what you read and watch with a flick of the switch!

As content continues to evolve to different mediums, lets remind ourselves that WE should be in control of what WE read and watch.

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01 2006
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