My colleague Barbara Esbin recently released a paper interpreting the very-belated Thirteenth Annual Video Competition Report. In "A Tale of Two Reports," Esbin explains that, although the data used in the report is 30 months out-of-date, it illustrates a steady trend of increasing competition among video service providers and increasing sources of diverse information and video programming.
"These developments have programmatic significance in at least two ways: they indicate, as Commissioner McDowell foreshadowed in his November 2007 dissenting statement, that the 'diversity of information sources' that Section 612(g) of the Communications Act was enacted to safeguard has already been achieved by market forces without the intervention of the FCC. Second, the proliferation of easily available Internet video programming choices severely undercuts the rationale behind the cable ownership limits Congress authorized the FCC to implement in Section 613 of the Act.40 Serious consideration should be given to the repeal of these provisions, and to a wholesale evaluation of the continued need for much of the Cable Act, now in its 25th year. Soon, rather than worry, as did former Chairman Martin, about the level of profitability of the cable industry, we instead may be worried about its continued viability as more and more subscribers 'cut the video cord.'"The paper can be found here.