Analyst: FCC Ownership Should Reflect Digital Competition

Tells Congress that financial markets see pay TV, Internet as broadcast competitors
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The FCC should consider including pay TV (cable, satellite, telco) and online video as relevant local market competitors to broadcasting.

That is according to media analyst David Bank, a managing director at RBC Capital Markets, in prepared testimony for the June 11 media ownership hearing in the House Communications Subcommittee.

He says that with broadcast TV controlling only about a third of the primetime audience, "it’s clear to us that broadcast TV regulation should probably consider a framework in which pay-TV in total as an ecosystem is a competitor to Broadcasting. This is the case in small and big markets alike."

Then there is the Internet. "[T]he current regulatory framework was constructed in a media ecosystem that basically didn’t include the Internet. While it may have contemplated a broad PC-based Internet consumption environment, it certainly didn’t contemplate a Mobile application based ecosystem," he says.

And while the FCC hasn't changed its rules to recognize that changing market, the financial markets have and are investing accordingly. "[D]igital media has now created, at least on the macro level, a powerful competitor to the media ecosystem that existed in isolation in the prior century. The markets are keenly aware of this and it plays a significant role in the way they fund growth in the choices consumers have for media consumption."